If you’re like most people, you don’t enjoy conflict.
In fact, many people will go out of their way to actively avoid conflict.
In our Leading Yourself and Leading Others Experience, participants learn skills for dealing with conflict.
The first skill they learn is how to actively listen. When confronted, our first reaction is to defend ourselves. We need to put ourselves aside and listen to what the other is saying, actively listen and then assert ourselves.
If we’re the ones who are confronting we use a Confronting I Message. This is a statement that follows a formula, “When this happens (unacceptable behaviour), I feel (emotions) because (tangible effects on you).
Another way of confronting is to describe the situation; just the facts of what has happened or what you’ve noticed or observed.
We also have a 6 step method for resolving conflict as well.
When you put all these skills together with a willingness to resolve, there isn’t anything that can’t be cleared up in conversation.
The barriers to resolving conflict include yelling at the other person, not letting them finish what they’re wanting to say or walking away.
If you want people to listen to you and really hear you, the best strategy is to quietly and respectfully explain how you are feeling and describe the unacceptable behaviour (in other words what the other did or didn’t do).
Describing unacceptable behaviour is different to judging others or labelling them. For example, arriving late to a meeting might be considered an unacceptable behaviour. Judging the person as inconsiderate or rude is a label. People can’t make changes to their behaviour if you call them names and label them.
I remember years ago, we were visiting and exploring a little country town in Queensland. We went into a curiosity shop and I found a cushion that was embroidered: “If you want to be loved, be lovable.”
I thought this was great and have since adapted it for other desires such as: “If you want to be interesting, be interested.” “If you want to be respected, be respectful.”
If you want me to listen to you, listen to me.
Learning how to fight and fight clean is a skill as well as a mindset. Being open and willing to hear what the other has to say is the first step. Remember, it’s very difficult to resolve conflict if you’re acting like an abusive bully.
P.S. Want some hand-holding to get your procedures done? Want to draft better job descriptions and identify and improve your workflow? Not sure of your role? Join me from 30th September for 9 weeks. I’ll be leading an online masterclass series to guide you through the steps I use to help businesses systemise and streamline their processes. Each week for 90 minutes we’ll cover a chapter in my book The Loyal Lieutenant: How the Second-in-Command Brings the CEO’s Vision to Life to help you implement my proprietary system and get your processes and procedures DONE. Go to shirleydaltoncourse.com for more information.
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