By Kelly Graves | Submitted On October 20, 2005
We’ve all been in conflict…
* A fellow employee gets under your skin
* A boss’ management style demoralizes you
* A subordinate is constantly defiant
These sorts of conflicts are a normal part of life. The key to proper resolution of these inevitable conflicts is having a set of rules and practices to tip the momentum of your conflicts toward a mutually beneficial resolution.
The place to start when implementing meaningful conflict resolution is with the individual. Each individual is always first responsible for the way they interact within their work environment. You are the one person you have control over.
Here are some tips for conflict resolution. Pay close attention to these conflict resolution tips. They will go a long way in resolving many different types of conflict you may be dealing with.
We rarely do our best when upset and angry. Our anger may put the other person(s) on the defensive.
Choose a Good Time and Place for Conflict Resolution
Find a place free from interruptions and have plenty of time so no one feels rushed or at a disadvantage.
Focus on the Problem
Don’t focus on the person you are in conflict with. Avoid blaming, name calling and putdowns. Be respectful and accept responsibility for your share of the conflict.
Truly Listen to the Other Side
This may be the last thing you want to do since you may feel upset or offended. But listening carefully (with the ears, body and mind without thinking of your response) is the most important tip for successful conflict resolution. Another tip is to let each person talk for 10-20 minutes without replying. Just listen.
Let everyone offer as many resolutions as possible, with neither side evaluating the suggestions offered. Once all possibilities are on the table then everyone can face the “problem(s)” together, reviewing the ideas you’ve generated and evaluating their usefulness. “Team up” on the problem, not each other.
Commit to the Resolution
If parties agree on a resolution to the conflict, commit yourself to the resolution. Know full well that it will take some time and there WILL be set backs. Set backs are part of the process.
Be honest with yourself. Do you really want to resolve the conflict or does it just seem that way? It may be that the conflict is really serving another purpose.
DON’T GIVE UP!
Build on the cooperation you’ve established in the first effort. Agree to a time-out and a place to try again. Go back to step one, acknowledge that while a solution may not have been found, tension has been reduced and you are communicating.
Most conflicts stem from poor communication. By helping people to communicate better, you are able to create a work environment that is more cohesive and profitable. Using these conflict resolution tips will provide a solid foundation for accomplishing this.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kelly Graves is the founder and CEO of Internal Solutions Consulting. ISC specializes in organizational conflict resolution. With over 85 years of combined experience in organizational conflict resolution, Internal Solutions is able to quickly address conflicts within an organization to facilitate a more successful, productive and profitable communication environment. For more information about Internal Solutions Consulting please visit http://www.conflictresolutionusa.com
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