This video focuses on the first preparation step in the resolution roadmap. Learn the three types of conflicts—perceptual, relational, and substantive—and how to clarify for yourself what needs are being thwarted or unaddressed.
- The resolution road map is a framework compromised of five steps that can be used to resolve any conflict. Let's focus on the first step, identifying the issues and needs. When we're in a blaming state of mind, acknowledging the conflict and being willing to talk about it may be far more difficult than all of the other steps combined. But pointing fingers keeps you in an endless cycle of blame and nowhere near uncovering the real issue, let alone resolving it.
So the fix? You have to work on yourself first. To find out the nature or subject of the disagreement, think of a current or recent situation and ask yourself: Is it relational, something having to do with your relationship? Or is it substantive, a disagreement about content or process? Or is it perceptual, a disagreement about how you're viewing a situation? Let's say Mark is under pressure at work. He's been getting to work late and missing deadlines and doing shoddy work on a special project.
Mark is worried that his boss Lily will fire him if he doesn't get his act together. Add to that the fact that Mark thinks Lily is hypercritical, and her strategy and process are keeping them from getting the results they really want. How do Mark and Lily move from avoidance and blame to "Houston, we have a problem"? This classic line from the movie Apollo 13 was not phrased, "Houston, you have a problem." If it had, things would have turned out much more dire than they did for everyone.
For Mark, the disagreement is around process, the strategy guiding the deliverables of the project. But because he thinks Lily is hypercritical, they're also having a relational disagreement. The next layer of identifying the issues in a conflict is to investigate your own needs and behaviors. You might want to pause the video and use the note taking tool here. What do my actions and behaviors demonstrate about what I want for myself, for others, for the relationship or for the organization? How would I behave if I was really committed to what I want for myself and others? If Mark is being honest with himself, his behavior is demonstrating that he's not committed or invested in the project.
What he really wants is to share his ideas about how he'd treat the process to produce the best possible outcome for the project. Now digging a little deeper, it's also likely that Mark wants a little more autonomy for for Lily to value his expertise and contributions to the project. And if Mark was committed to all of that, he might start behaving differently by sitting down and talking things through, and sharing his ideas with Lily and others on the project.
He'd stop showing up late and grumbling about things and take some positive action to turn things around. The first step in the resolution road map is not about assigning blame to yourself or others. You're simply taking stock of what's driving your feelings and actions, your motives. If you can understand your motives, you can change your motives.
- Define the "Name, Blame, Claim" cycle.
- Distinguish different types of conflict styles.
- Recognize contentious tactics.
- Identify issues and needs.
- Explain how to reframe.
- Increase conflict capacity.