How to be remarkable #55: Manage Conflicts Among People

On October 25, 2016 By thesuccessmanual Topic: Remarkable, Simpleguide, Mba

This guide belongs to 100 Ways To Be Being Remarkable  Series, a special project that brings you business and self-development advice from The Success Manual.

Men are more happy to repay an injury than a benefit; because gratitude is a burden and revenge a pleasure.
- Tacitus

Distrust all men in whom the impulse to punish is powerful.
- Friedrich Nietzsche

mediation, n. a mediating; intercession or friendly intervention, usually by consent or invitation.

- Forcing: using your formal authority or power to satisfy your concerns without regard to the other party's concerns
- Accommodating: allowing the other party to satisfy their concerns while neglecting your own
- Avoiding: not paying attention to the conflict and not taking any action to resolve it
- Compromising: attempting to resolve the conflict by identifying a solution that is partially satisfactory to both parties but completely satisfactory to neither
- Collaborating: co-operating with the other party to understand their concerns in an effort to find a mutually satisfying solution
- Source: The Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Instrument

Active Listening
Active listening is a valuable skill for resolving conflicts because it enables you to demonstrate that you understand what another person is saying and how he or she is feeling about it.

Active listening means restating, in your own words, what the other person has said.

Active listening is a way of checking whether your understanding is correct. It also demonstrates that you are listening and that you are interested and concerned. These all help resolve a situation when there are conflicting points of view.

Active listening responses have two components:
(1) naming the feeling that the other person is conveying, and
(2) stating the reason for the feeling.

1. Listen to both sides of the conflict.
2. Make it clear that you are there only to help them resolve the issue, not solve it for them. They must do that themselves.
3. Make it clear that you will be helping both sides, and make sure the people you are mediating for also want a win-win resolution.
4. Do not take sides.

1. Interpersonal,
2. Arising from a Group, or
3. Inter-group.

Use these styles after taking in consideration the personality types and situation.

1. Denial or Withdrawal
Attempting to “get rid” of the conflict by denying that it exists. Usually it works but at times, a conflict grows to the point of being unmanageable. When the issue or the timing is not critical, denial maybe the most productive way of dealing with a conflict.

2. Suppression or Smoothing Over
Playing down the differences and not recognizing the positive aspects of dealing with a conflict in the open. This way, the source of conflict rarely goes away. Suppression may however, be employed when it is more important to preserve a relationship than to deal with an insignificant issue through conflict.

3. Power Of Dominance
Resorting to power tactics to settle differences. Power strategies result in winners and losers and are mostly effective.

4. Compromise or Negotiation
Resorting to ‘You give some, I give Some’, and meeting each other halfway. Bargaining can cause both side to assume an inflated ego. There is often little real commitment from either side. When resources are limited, it makes sense to use this strategy.

5. Integration or Collaboration
Assuming that group effort exceeds the sum of individual effort. People often modify their views as the work progresses. Ultimately, the best thinking does emerge. But the final decision suffers if taken in a hurry due to considerations such as lack of money or use of power. Otherwise, it is the most effective business strategy.

1. Identify the interest of the disputants

Ask each person, “What do you want?”

2. Identify higher levels of interest
Ask each person, “What does having that do for you?” Too often, we dig into a position and refuse to budge or consider alternatives.

It is important to understand what people REALLY want.

3. Create an agreement frame
Ask, “If I could show you how to get to X, would you do Y for me?”

4. Brainstorm for solutions together
Find a win-win solution together. You get commitment by getting tem involved in finding a solution.

Adapted from a Harvard Business Review Article

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