There are two important keys to managing conflict:
- Understand the positions and concerns (needs) of the people in conflict with each other.
- Expand the options available to resolve the conflict so you and the team can move forward.
Some things make conflict more difficult. Beware of these enemies to managing conflict:
- A natural need to want to explain your side first.
- Being a poor listener.
- Afraid you will not get your way.
- You will look foolish or be wrong.
Leaders who manage conflicts best are able to draw out all parties involved. They take time to understand the different perspectives involved and then find a common solution or idea everyone can support. This may take some time as they surface the conflict, acknowledge the feelings and views of all sides and then redirect the energy toward a shared solution.
Timing is important. When conflict occurs, it is best to address it as soon as possible to prevent it from escalating into a chronic or pervasive problem.
The following 4 tips will help you manage conflict:
- Create rules of engagement. Establishing procedures and rules for addressing conflict fairly builds trust.
- Go into the situation prepared. First, think about where you want to end up. Second, think about what is really going on. Finally, begin the process of discovering and designing an action plan.
- Demonstrate the importance of caring about finding a solution that is acceptable to everyone or that they are willing to try for a specific period of time. Nothing can be resolved in an atmosphere of distrust.
- Depersonalize the issues. Once the problem is identified, focus on behaviors and arriving at a solution not on personalities.
My next post will give you 4 additional tips for managing conflict. In the meantime, think about which of the above 4 tips you will use this week to ease your stress.
Comment below on which of these tips work for you.
To your success,