When you get up, you hope for a smooth and productive day. After all, the normal, everyday expectations and challenges are enough to fill your mental and emotional bank. While the expectation of a smooth and drama free day is understandable, it’s also a set-up for disappointment. Instead of being surprised by conflict, expect it. Plan for it!
If you work around people who have challenges and difficulties (like all of us) their conflicts will follow them. When you expect the challenges, you can plan and avoid being caught off guard. A quick conflict resolution strategy not only keeps you productive, but helps you avoid long-term emotional issues that can cripple a relationship or business.
Check out these conflict resolutions strategies that will keep you productive:
Ask questions immediately.
When you hear or see something that you don’t understand or raises suspicion, ask questions immediately. Don’t wait. Be careful to have a kind, non-judgemental demeanor, but get the answers you need immediately. This helps avoid suspicion and speculation. Get the facts and deal with the issue quickly. Stop the drama before it begins!
Avoid subjective treatment and decisions (business owners).
When you treat employees differently solely based on what you perceive or who you like, it’s a breeding ground for conflict. Show everyone the same level of respect. Have a salary system, and other work guidelines that everyone follows equally. Be sensitive to people who are socially awkward and easily offended.
If you work with a team, tell them, “Open communication is encouraged. Gossip will not be tolerated.” When you hear an offensive or damaging comment among your inner circle of friends, staff or team member, don’t keep the secret. Make all parties come clean. Usually, what you hear is not what was said. Squash the lies and send a message that you are a communicator who will handle difficult conversations, but won’t tolerate gossip. Dispel lies openly and quickly. Don’t forget to leave room for people to learn and grow!
Be careful what you say, who you say it to, and how you say it.
In any group, there are hurting, sensitive people who will easily create conflict because that’s what’s happening inside of them.
Ready to deal with some conflict? Here how to say it . . .
- Say it kindly – People are more apt to receive what you are saying if you are not angry or mean-spirited.
- Say it with understanding – There are always at least 2 ways to see a situation. Let the other person know that you are trying to understand their perspective, experience, and culture.
- Say it with love – People will respond much better when they believe you really care.
- Say it carefully – Be careful with each word. The goal is understanding not resentment or defensiveness.
- Say it thoughtfully – Spend some time thinking about what you want to say and how you should say it.
- Say it purposefully – Think about the results that you would like to experience. Have your conversation with those results in mind.
- Say it clearly – Now that you have decided to get it out, say what you mean and make sure they understand clearly.
Ephesians 4:15 says, “But speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ.”
Rhonda Ware Williams is a Life Coach who offers solutions for optimized Christian living. For updates on her book, It’s One O’clock: A Powerful Strategy for Making Smart Decisions in Tough Situations, and more posts like this one, register on this website.