Evolve to Resolve

It is Management Monday: How do you manage Conflict Resolution?

Conflicts can be a huge set-back at work. Depending on the severity of the situation, disagreements can be devastating. If you’ve found yourself in a challenging conflict with a manager or co-worker, the first step is to envision the perfect scenario. In our workshops regarding conflict resolution, we discuss Game Theory, which directs one’s attention to the outcomes one is hoping to achieve.  Win-win vs. win-lose, which is commonly known as compromising.  This gears the breadth of the work ahead; the vision if you will for the conflict resolution process at hand.

Below are further tips to keep in mind the next time you have the opportunity to resolve conflict.

Olive Branch Conversation Guide to Conflict Resolution – Graphic Credit: Emilyann Girdner with Center for Work Life

 

Steps of healthy Conflict Resolution:

Focus

Keeping a focus is the number one step to reach positive resolve. The trick is to focus on the best results for all parties, not strictly what you feel is right. What will leave everyone feeling valued?

Listen

It is crucial during discussions to simply be quiet and listen. Both sides need to express their position with ample opportunity. The longer you stay quiet and let the other person truly convey their thoughts, the better you can make progress.

Absorb

Don’t just let the words fall off your ears like they don’t matter. Open your mind so you truly process them. The person you are listening to feels passionately about their view because they truly believe it.

Know the Facts

The article Conflict resolution skills for the caring majority points out that conflict resolution is often the result of poor communication and lack of correct information. Take time to be sure you are accurately conveying all pertinent information to your co-worker.

Don’t be egotistical

A big mistake leading to complicated conflicts, is projecting. This involves either putting words into someone else’s mouth or stating opinions as fact. One way to avoid these pitfalls is to only use “I” statements. Don’t say “You did this” or interject explanations into their sentences, or worst yet, jump in to defend yourself.

Show Optimism

Everyone knows that outlook plays a huge role in outcomes. We all love the quote “Believe you can and you’re half way there” by Theodor Roosevelt.  It holds true for conflict resolution. Most situations can be resolved with a good attitude.

Acknowledge

Express that you understand what the other person is explaining. Even make statements such as “I hear what you are explaining,” when the other person has finished a thought. Repeat what they have said to truly verify your understanding.

Be humble

If a true win/win is to be reached, then both sides would need to be willing to lose something. There is no room for pride.

True and hollow forgiveness, forgiveness motives, and conflict resolution, a recent study by Naomi Takada and Ken-ichi Ohbuchi which was published in the International Journal of Conflict Management revealed that individuals who approached conflict resolution with a relationship-oriented motive were more satisfied with the outcomes than those who approached with self-oriented motives. The biggest take away from all of this, is to be emotionally intelligent when trying to resolve conflicts. Remember, the sooner you extend an olive branch, the sooner you can make meaningful progress.