I know that most of us can look back over our career and think of situations that gave us a TON of heartache based on the conflict that came with those situations. This topic is popping up in my brain this week as a partner and I are prepping for a workshop on this topic and I thought you might like some of the information. 🙂
Early in my career, I ran a project for Harley Davidson where one individual actually stood up in the kickoff meeting and pointed at the dude across the table saying, ‘I’m not working with him because he’s a @#%$$^&%!* A$$HOLE!‘. Then they walked out of the room. Nice, thanks for that! LOL! I ended the meeting and hunted down the Sponsor to find out what the hell he wasn’t telling me.
That was my entry point into conflict resolution. As luck would have it, I was getting my undergraduate degree and the class I was taking at the time was conflict resolution. Funny how that works!
Since then and many lumps later, I’ve developed my own system for handling conflict since so many folks DREAD it. Maybe this will help you!
D – Define the problem. What’s going on? Why is this an issue and who’s involved?
R – Re-frame the emotion. If your instinct is anger (or something negative), take a break, a walk – do something to get your head right before diving into this.
E – Elicit facts. Do your best to lay out actual data that can’t be disputed to capture the what, who, how, why and when of the situation.
A – Assist and offer solutions. There is more than one way to ‘skin a cat’ as they say. Brainstorm on the various options that will solve the problem.
D – Decide on a solution. Finally, use the options that were created to figure out what’s best in this scenario.
Now here’s the cool part! You can do this solo if you’re experiencing an internal conflict (what should I do? how should I handle that?). You can also do this with a team or a group that you are leading. If the latter, my advice would be to bake this into your operating guidelines with your team, so you know how all of you are going to handle conflict when it happens (notice I didn’t say IF). Bahahahaha!
I hope you find this tidbit useful and happy trails to resolving future conflicts!