Conflict is inevitable and everywhere. In order to prevent it from dominating your life you should strive to be proactive rather than reactive. Following these eight steps will enhance your capacity to manage any conflict by getting out in front of it.
1st – Recognize and accept that you have a potential conflict as early as possible. Step out of your story and look at it objectively
2nd – Acknowledge your emotions but do not let them control you.
3rd – Explore your own story to separate what happened—the facts—from what you made it mean, your judgements, assumptions and interpretations.
4th – Based on your objective self-analysis make your best guess as to how the other parties see the facts and what they make those facts mean. Put yourself in their shoes and unpack their story for facts and meaning.
5th – Consider what needs to be done with the other side to confirm the facts for both parties. Agreeing on the facts or on a plan to establish the facts is the basis for resolution.
6th – Based on your newfound clarity about both stories, identify the interests, needs and concerns that are most important for each party. Those interests and needs are the building blocks of your options for the future.
7th – Reach out to the other party and invite them to engage with you in a dialogue about a future resolution. Share what you have done to prepare and why.
8th – Meet with the intention to have a dialogue about the future rather than a debate about the ‘rights’ and ‘wrongs’ of the past.
Following these eight steps will empower you to resolve and minimize your conflicts. You do not have to deal with conflict alone. Family and friends may help however you may need to engage appropriate professional help. Preparation will give you the clarity to get the right help at the right time. Below are some options to consider:
• Conflict Management Coaches. They can work with you to enhance your conflict management competence and help you prepare for negotiations and difficult conversations.
• Mediators. They can custom design and facilitate negotiations for all those involved and act as a neutral 3rd party.
• Lawyers. You want a lawyer who will be an effective litigator, tough on the problem but also focused on opportunities for early settlement. I call this the dual track approach.
Please contact us to book a FREE consultation for all your conflict management needs:
Below are some of the services we offer:
- Conflict Management Coaching.
- Custom Designed Dispute Resolution Processes.
- Neutral 3rd Party Mediation and Facilitation,
- Workshops and Training Programs.
Your questions and comments are welcome and appreciated.
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David Gould (LLB, QC, C Med) has helped hundreds of lawyers and their clients – business and government organizations, and individuals – in conflict situations to co-create solutions for the future. For more information, contact us at: email@example.com or at 403-801-0234