The Ten Keys to Resolving Conflict Swiftly and Effectivelyby Tiffany Crosby on 06/22/12
I hate to be the bearer of bad news but there is no microwave way to resolving conflict. In my experience, successful conflict resolution boils down to the 10 items noted below.
The challenge with these 10 items is that they require us to actually concern ourselves with other points of view. If we are able to do that, 98% of the time we will be able resolve conflict successfully. So, why is it so difficult for us to focus on the relationship, shut up and listen, and put ourselves in others shoes? Why is it so difficult for us to broaden our knowledge base beyond our specialty so that we can be innovative and visionary? Why is it so hard for us to make those decisions that move us from where we were at to a new, unfamiliar place? And, once having done so, why is it so hard for us to communicate this to others so that they can buy into the solution? I haven’t done clinical trials or extensive studies, I’m not a psychologist or a behavioral scientist; however, I have had the benefit of interacting with a wide variety of organizational cultures, societies, and groups and so I share that with you today. I will boil it down to one word --- “EGO”.
We struggle with conflict because accomplishing our purpose and objectives matters more than accomplishing the other person’s purpose and objectives. If we can accomplish both great, but if it’s one or other, than the other has to go. We struggle with conflict because our ideas and our stories are much more compelling than anyone else’s ideas or stories. We struggle with conflict because we automatically consider our feelings and emotions as legitimate and the feelings or emotions of others that are counter to ours as illegitimate. We struggle with conflict because our intentions matter and we want people to judge our actions based on our intentions. However, we judge other people based on their actions and are unable to see the double standard that is at work. We struggle with conflict because we don’t want to have to let go of routines or concepts or theories that have become a part of our identity. We are the social media expert and we have developed a process for word of mouth marketing and it has worked for other companies, so why should I listen to someone who is now trying to take this in another direction? Who are they anyone and what have they accomplished compared to what I have accomplished?
So to be successful at conflict management, you will have to eat a little bit of humble pie and realize that your views aren’t always right and you don’t know it all. You’ll need to be comfortable with the fact that you don’t have all the answers; your way isn’t always the right way; and you can learn from people from all walks of life. When you start to see the world as one big classroom where you are constantly learning about people; when you start to see yourself as a critical thinker and problem-solver; and, when you start to separate the issues from the person, then you are on your way to becoming a better conflict manager. The question you have to ask yourself is whether you are willing to do the hard work necessary to get to that point? If you are serious about it; then it’s time to start clearing out some space in your busy calendar so you can get started. If you’re not, then it’s time for you to ask yourself why. What’s holding you back? If it’s a matter of timing, know that there is never a great time to undertake learning or enhancing a skill. Life happens. Life will always happen. If you wait until life settles down, in this environment that we are in, you’ll be waiting a long time. So just get started. You can comment on this blog or go to Petra’s Facebook page at
(https://www.facebook.com/pages/Petra-Learning-LLC/120474568065099). Join the conversation.