LUTZ BUSINESS INSIGHTS

 

Coping with Conflict

MARISA GIFT, TRAINING & DEVELOPMENT MANAGER

A typical manager spends 25-40% of their time on conflict; that’s one to two business days each week (Forbes, 2014)!  Conflict is inevitable but our plan for managing it is completely under our control.  The next time you feel your blood starting to boil, consider following this easy plan.

 

1. Set out the facts:

Seek to identify and agree upon the objective, observable elements that will have an impact on the decision. Bonus: this step allows you to start the process with common ground.

 

2. Gather information:

You already know your position so it’s time to listen with a goal to understand the other person’s viewpoint. Pay attention to the other person’s interests by listening first and talking second. Remember to “inquire, don’t accuse.”  Come with open-ended questions rather than accusatory statements (Roberts, Ken).

 

3. Agree on the problem:

Go through each of your lists of issues and concerns to make sure you have a solid understanding of what is causing the problem as well as what each party needs to feel successful. Do not move on until you are certain there are no remaining misunderstandings.

 

4. Explore options together:

Look for common ground, rather than compromises where everyone feels like they had to give something up. Keep an open mind and work together to develop solutions.  However, don’t brainstorm solutions on your own because you may become too attached to your own ideas.  This makes it much harder to take the other person’s ideas into account.  Check out my favorite example of brainstorming done right: the Omaha Chamber of Commerce’s We don’t coast campaign!

 

5. Negotiate a solution:

Be calm, be patient and be respectful knowing that the end result will be worth the effort: the best possible solution with a relationship still intact!

 

The next time tempers flare during a workplace meeting or around the table at family dinner, give this five-step process a try.  And remember the words of Dorothy Thomas: “Peace is not the absence of conflict but the ability to cope with it.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

402.496.8800

mgift@lutz.us

LINKEDIN

MARISA GIFT + TRAINING & DEVELOPMENT MANAGER

Marisa Gift is the Training and Development Manager at Lutz with over 15 years of experience. She helps shape the firm’s training and development strategy while also managing Lutz’s campus recruiting, orientation and mentoring programs.

AREAS OF FOCUS
  • Human Resources
  • Training
  • Leadership Development
  • Campus Recruiting
  • Performance
AFFILIATIONS AND CREDENTIALS
  • Association for Talent Development, Member
  • Human Resource Association of the Midlands, Member
  • Society for Human Resource Management, Member
EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND
  • BA in Communication Studies & Politics, Drake University, Des Moines, IA
  • MA in Communication, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
COMMUNITY SERVICE
  • Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Publicity Committee
  • Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Music Ministry
  • Drake University National Alumni Board of Directors, Past Board Member

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