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On Resolving Conflicts
2 min read

On Resolving Conflicts

On Resolving Conflicts

The key principle to remember during a conflict is that conflicts always happen in a shared context. Different people bring different perspectives and the conflict is related to those perspectives/opinions. This shared context could be looked as an opportunity for potential collaboration. So not opposing each other but putting two people together to solve a problem. The goal is for A and B to agree on the best way to do X.

Goals to achieve resolution

1. Listen and understand

The first goal is to understand how they think and feel about the issue.

  • Be quiet and pay attention
  • Offer encouragement, use gestures, smile depending on the context
  • Stay with them without interrupting
  • When they complete an idea, summarise what they said even if you got what they said. Ask “Did I get it right?” to show they have control
  • Validate their reasoning/feeling and thoughts
  • Simply acknowledge “that makes sense" Or “this is not what I was thinking but that makes sense".

2. Speak and explain

Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care. - Stephen Covey

The second goal is to explain how you think and why you feel the way you feel so they can understand where you are coming from.

  • Speak in a way you are understood
  • "This is my view. This is why. Here’s my proposal"

3. Negotiate

The third goal is to negotiate on the underlying concerns instead of negotiating on what people have said.

  • Attempt to find a win-win solution
  • Great negotiators find a way to give the other what they really want, not necessarily what they ask.
  • When someone is unreasonable, ask them why? “Do you disagree because it’s not a good idea or because you don’t want to do it even if it is a good idea" It’s hard to be unreasonable.
  • Instead of jumping to conclusion ask “why is that important to you?"
  • Discuss a way to come together. “Is there a way we can come together for mutual benefit. Can we find an integration of yours and my perspective that will lead us to a solution"

4. Commit

The fourth goal is to make a commitment together. Agreements are worthless without commitment. Move from agreement to commitment.

  • Make a request. “So we commit to doing X on Thursday afternoon. Are you ok with that”?
  • Make a commitment on who is going to do what and by when. “If we agree, let’s commit and get it done"
  • "I'll try" doesn’t work, commitment is specific.

BATNA

When negotiation fails try to find the Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement (BATNA).

  1. What’s the best you can do without the cooperation of this person?
  2. What would you do if you can’t agree?

References

Conscious Business
More and more business leaders are catching on to an often-overlooked fact: consciousness is our basic faculty for survival and success. ...