Friday, November 14, 2008

Steps for Resolving Conflict

Each of us comes from a unique perspective. Even if everyone has agreed on a goal or outcome, disagreements may arise. When this happens, it is essential to know how to resolve conflict.

Here are steps for resolving conflict:
  • State the nature of the conflict from your viewpoint.
  • Identify the facts contributing to the conflict.
  • Choose an appropriate conflict management strategy.
  • Evaluate the pros and cons of the strategy you choose.
  • If you choose to resolve the conflict, schedule a meeting with the person to discuss the situation.
Before the meeting:
  • Plan what you want to say.
  • Define the outcome you want.
  • Define what you think the other person wants.
  • Are there areas of agreement?
When you meet:
  • Acknowledge that a conflict exists.
  • Use “I” statements and encourage the other person to also use “I” statements.
  • Avoid personal attacks and judgments.
  • Ask open-ended questions that require more than “yes” and “no” answers.
  • Monitor nonverbal messages.
  • State your desired outcome and ask the other person to state their outcome.
  • Identify what you want in common – where outcomes and goals overlap.
  • Work toward a resolution based on the conflict management strategy you chose.
  • Identify the next step.
  • Agree to take the next step.
  • Set up a follow-up meeting, if necessary.

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