Stress & Conflict Management

The Project Management Institute (PMI) says that project managers need to have good conflict management and stress management skills. When I mention this in class, there is usually one person who says, “I manage conflict all day long.”

No doubt how we see and handle conflict has to do with our personalities and other factors. And, of course, how we handle (or ignore!) conflict can give us more stress.

I have found two tools that have helped me with stress, and therefore conflict management.

About a year and a half ago I started meditating daily. Meditating has changed how I react to and see situations. I can’t quite explain it at this time, but I do know my world and stress level have changed dramatically for the good since I started meditating.

Another tool that I have found lately is tapping. I first heard about tapping (emotional freedom technique) a few years ago, and even bought a book on it which I promptly ignored. It just didn’t resonate with me at the time. But in the last few weeks I found another book (Tapping into Wealth by Margaret M. Lynch) that I dove into. Ms. Lynch explains why tapping works – it has to do with acupressure. She explains this fascinating concept very well. According to Lynch, “At a physiological level, it calms the sympathetic nervous system responsible for the stress response and turns on the parasympathetic nervous system responsible for the relaxation response.” Tapping has been used to treat post-traumatic stress disorder and to remedy the fear of flying. You don’t need to have major fears to use it – it is good for even slight annoyances!

Meditation and tapping may or may not be for you at this time (or maybe any time!) but I have to say, they are good starting points for stress management.

Brenda Fay