When we don’t manage our life well, we become angry and frustrated as things don’t go as intended, and our bad mood is a sign showing we were not able to resolve the conflict. Jorge Bucay
I hate conflicts. Honestly. What a waist of time and energy! I was thinking when was the last time I had a conflict? I don’t remember. You will say that I never have them? Not true. Most probably I know how to master it better.
Before I share with you some conflict mastering techniques, let’s first define it and take a deeper look at what the conflict means? I was lucky enough to participate in one of Tobias Rodrigues guest speeches, he is a live coach, public speaker and conflict resolution master. He offers the following conflict definition:
A conflict is an encounter of apparently incompatible forces.
According to Tobias positive definition of the conflict is crucial for effective management. It’s important to frame the conflict in terms of “compatibility / incompatibly,” instead of the more common “right or wrong” and “good or bad.”
Yes! There is no right or wrong, good or bad. There is compatible or incompatible instead. What a relief by acknowledging that we all are different, and this difference sometimes can make us incompatible when it comes to team work.
So what are the techniques to resolve the conflict? I say resolve, as one of the best solution to this. Since another solution can be avoiding the conflict, but this time – we want to resolve it!
How can we solve or even prevent the conflict?
Step 1. Listen listen and listen.
What does your counterpart mean? What do they try to tell you? You will get a better grasp of why people have adopted their position if you try to understand their point of view. Listen to what the other person is saying before defending your own position. They might say something that changes your mind.
Step 2. Set out the “facts.”
This is important. Imagine yourself analyzing the X-ray. You need to find out what is the problem. Try to see the facts. Not how “bad”, “wrong” and “not fair” the behavior is. Observe and analyze what is happening, what actions led to the particular conflict.
Step 3. Separate conflict from the person.
This is the key. The person is not the problem. The problem is the problem. Because this is key to conflict resolution. As Tobias said, thinking that a person is the problem that needs fixing – is a risky business, because to fix the problem you’ll need to change the person, and… this is hardly can be done! We all know that people don’t tend to change that easily.
Tobias Rodrigues suggests to look at the conflict as a third party, as an independent object, as a “thing” with a life of its own. Applying this, we can focus on understanding what effects the conflict has caused on our lives, and how we feel about that.
Ready to defend your own position?
Or maybe there is no further need of this? Since now that you have listened and understood, you have set out the facts and you see the conflict with a life of its own, your usual vision of the conflict has changed?
LISTEN – SEE FACTS – PERSON IS NOT A PROBLEM.
Conflicts are inevitable. Conflicts are and will be. However now you know how to resolve it. Don´t waste your time and energy on arguing. Instead – resolve it.