Conflict Resolution Leadership
In any leadership training, the new leader must be trained to resolve conflicts. They must do all of the following.
Acknowledge that a difficult situation exists. Honesty and clear communication play an important role in the resolution process. Acquaint yourself with what’s happening and be open about the problem.
Let individuals express their feelings. Some feelings of anger and/or hurt usually accompany conflict situations. Before any kind of problem-solving can take place, these emotions should be expressed and acknowledged.
Define the problem. What is the stated problem? What is the negative impact on the work or relationships? Are differing personality styles parts of the problem? Meet with team members separately at first and question them about the situation.
Determine underlying need. The goal of conflict resolution is not to decide which person is right or wrong; the goal is to reach a solution that everyone can live with. Looking first for needs, rather than solutions, is a powerful tool for generating good options. To discover needs, you must try to find out why people want the solutions they initially proposed. Once you understand the advantages their solutions have for them, you have discovered their needs.
Find common areas of agreement, no matter how small:
· Agree on the problem
· Agree on the procedure to follow
· Agree on worst fears
· Agree on some small change to give an experience of success
Find solutions to satisfy needs.
· Problem-solve by generating multiple alternatives
· Determine which actions will be taken
· Make sure involved parties buy into actions. (Total silence may be a sign of passive resistance.) Be sure you get real agreement from everyone.
Determine follow-up you will take to monitor actions.
How will you determine if the agreement is being followed? What are the benchmarks?
Determine what you’ll do if the conflict goes unresolved. If the conflict is causing a disruption and it remains unresolved, you may need to explore other avenues. Let the participants know that’s an option.
**For the last decade I’ve been involved with leadership development of tomorrow’s leaders. Using my expertise, I am training the youth leaders in conflict resolution. This blog is adapted from my training materials.
About the Author: Ken Strongman (www.kpstrongman.com) has years of experience and a growing national reputation as a mediator and arbitrator. He has successfully resolved more than a thousand disputes in the fields of construction defects, real estate, intellectual property, and employment. He is also a Mediator and Arbitrator for FINRA.
© 2020 Ken Strongman. All Rights Reserved. Please do not copy or repost without permission.