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Manage Conflict

1. Listen – Listening is important in all communication scenarios, even more important when there is conflict. Listening allows you to gather information – Who is involved, history, interest in resolving the issue and even potential solutions. Put yourself in the other person’s shoes’, see the issue through their eyes. Don’t interrupt. Clarify anything you aren’t clear about and confirm what you are hearing.

2. Common Ground – State the problem as you understand it and have the others build, clarify or confirm. If you can’t agree then shift up a level to something you can all agree on e.g. perhaps the conflict is around the strategy or action to get new business so move back to confirm that you all agree that you need more business to increase sales or that the three possible areas to get new business are xyz etc. Having common ground frees everyone up to finding a solution that is win-win.

3. Solutions focused – Be sure you start from common ground then brainstorm possible solution from all parties. Look at the pro’s and con’s of each. Use reframing to help loosen different perceptions. Utilise the ‘As if’ frame i.e. “if we solve this then…” Remember that if given another, more appropriate, choice it is more likely to be adopted (within the context of the persons view of the world).

4. Manage Emotions – Keep conversation respectful, no sarcasm or put-downs. Make “I” statements, don’t try to guess what others feel or play the blame game. Let the other person speak and don’t try and interpret the behaviour, look beyond that to the possible intent. Keep calm and lead rather than react. 


5. BE CREATIVE and THINK before you act.


Cherto | info [at] cherto [dot] be | T +32 (0)491 34 08 97