Everyone dreads conflict, right? Sadly, this statement is NOT completely true. There are those darling few who thrive, on it… bless their hearts. But, for the rest of us, conflict stings and most of us would rather not be faced, with it.
Conflict occurs when needs are not being met or when one side appears to be obstructing the other’s success. Conflict usually surrounds the allocation and use of power, position, and resources. Being prepared and knowing your triggers will go a long way toward helping you resolve conflict. Here are 11 ideas for how to achieve your goals.
1. Know what you want before you go in, which makes negotiation and compromise easier.
2. Show your good will from the beginning, even if you’re not feeling particularly charitable.
3. Talk less, listen more, and keep your voice and gestures calm and collected.
4. Acknowledge that an argument has two sides and compromise is probably inevitable.
5. Step back when things get heated and remember things can’t really be that bad.
6. Try to see things from your opponent’s point of view; empathy goes a long way toward de-escalating tension.
7. Don’t accuse or attack your opponent if you hope to keep communication channels open.
8. Avoid implying that your opponent is lying or not revealing the whole story; just keep asking questions until the truth comes out.
9. Remember, just because you know what you mean doesn’t indicate that you’ve been able to express your views clearly to your opponent; check for understanding and keep providing information until you both see the same picture.
10. Don’t push for immediate resolution; your patience will pay off with a more amenable solution for all concerned.
11. Help your opponent see the long-term plan beyond the immediate source of the conflict.
As leaders, we need to be willing to try new methods to achieve better results. As the old saying goes, “If you always do what you have always done, you will always get what you have always got”. Encourage yourself to start seeing conflict from a different perspective; it should be embraced and dealt with, not just to resolve a problem, but to also learn about our own leadership abilities, as we lead others through adverse circumstances.
Onward... ain't no stinkin' conflict gonna stop us!