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Conflict Resolution: Moving Differences toward Positive Solutions

Conflict Resolution and the Ability to Manage People towards Success

Whenever you’re in conflict with someone, there is one factor that can make the difference between damaging your relationship and deepening it. That factor is attitude. ~ William James

Conflict Resolution: Moving Differences toward Positive Solutions
Managing people towards conflict resolution and past their differences toward a positive solution can be a difficult, tricky task. Often, there are several components that each contribute towards everyone enjoying a peaceable outcome. The gift of mutual respect, the ability to forgive, the willingness to listen and each participant’s attitude each play a part in the final outcome.

Conflict is resolved by making a conscious effort to dance between cooperation and assertion. Often, conflict is resolved in one of several styles – through competition, collaboration, compromise or accommodation. As the leader of an organization or group, your task is to decide which style will work best for the conflict at hand. But there should be some ground rules.

The Foundation Pillars of Conflict Resolution

Leaders can cultivate a sense of respect among all the staff involved in a dispute. As calmly as possible, the leader can offer an opportunity for each person to talk about the problem, but not the people, attached to the situation. Listening to each person’s concerns fosters mutual respect.
Can anyone communicate what the group is really trying to accomplish? Start with identifying the problem. Review the facts, acknowledge the challenges and identify the goal.

Maintain Working Relationships

By focusing on the problem and not the people connected to the conflict, working relationships are maintained and each employee feels affirmed throughout the process. No one wants to feel like the bad guy or the stupid person. Instead, when disagreements arise, make sure errors are pointed out because of a misunderstood company procedure versus an individual’s style of work.

Express Appreciation for Working through Conflict

One of our basic human needs is to feel valued and appreciated. When the people we work with are told “thank you” or “good job,” they believe their presence on the job is valued. When leaders communicate positively to their staff after conflict has reached resolution, it helps the staff move past their differences and live in the solution.

The leader’s attitude towards their staff plays a huge part in how quickly disputes are dissolved. Conflict resolution is possible when a listening, calm presence and ear is used to grant respect, value work relationships and see the problems for what they are – temporary setbacks. These tips make it possible for staff to move past differences toward positive solutions.

Trust the Experts

If you’re feeling overwhelmed as a leader when you’re stuck in the middle of a conflict, consider spending some time with conflict resolution training. Our conflict management classes will help you learn and practice the skills that will help you become an effective leader and mediator.