Handing Conflict

Conflict: A fight, battle, or struggle, especially a prolonged struggle; strife.
To come into collision or disagreement; be contradictory, at variance, or in opposition; clash.

by Mike Corthell
''The loudest voices we hear are those
who advocate conflict, divisiveness.''
John C. Danforth

When emotional issues arise, many of us regress. An argument ensues and we start acting like children again. Not very productive. Let's look at interpersonal conflict and what to do about managing it.

People who work together are thrown together Conflict is often unavoidable because of differences in work goals and personal styles. But there are ways to head off major fights.

When people are angry, the words they use are not accurate. We need to listen and get some clarity. Listening strengthens us, informs us, and makes it easier for others to hear our side of the story.

When you’re in the middle of an argument, paying close attention to the other person’s body language. That might help you figure out what the other person is really saying. This helps you respond in a way that builds trust, and gets to the heart of the problem. A calm voice, an interested and friendly facial expression will go a long way toward relaxing a heated conversation.

Let's do this then:

Make conflict resolution the priority rather than who is the 'winner'. Be respectful of the other person's opinion.
Focus on the present. Focus on what you can do right now to solve the problem.
Pick your battles. Conflicts can and will sap your energy. Is this particular issue worth it? Most are not. Most can be let go!
Forgive, forgive, FORGIVE! Resolving conflict is impossible if you won't forgive. Resolution requires forgiveness. Forget the grudge holding, that requires too much of your energy also.
Know when to let something go. Can't come to an agreement? Agree to disagree. It takes two to tango. If a conflict is going nowhere let it go, walk away. As we say, take the high road.

Conflicts can always be resolved if there is a sincere desire to do so. Compromise, compassion, empathy and finding common ground all go toward good conflict resolution.

If you are the manager, you are the mediator. When a conflict cannot be resolved successfully, that is, the two parties just can agree to a solution or even agree to disagree - YOU have to, do the RIGHT and fair thing.