Join LinkedIn Learning Instructors for an in-depth discussion in this video Preparing for a Hard Conversation, part of 2-Minute Tips for Senior Leaders.
- One of the most important pieces in conflict resolution is identifying the real issue. Hi, I'm Lisa Gates, a negotiation consultant and executive coach, and I want to give you four questions that will help you get clear about the issue before you sit down with your conflict partner. The first three questions help you identify the nature of the disagreement. Is it relational, something having to do with your relationship? Is it substantive, a disagreement about content or process? Or is it perceptual, a disagreement about how you're seeing a situation? Once you understand the nature of the conflict, your next step is to think about this question.
What goals, values, or needs do you feel are not being met? For example, let's say you need a lot of collaboration when tackling projects, and your conflict partner needs a lot of thinking time, alone. You have a substantive disagreement, and your value of collaboration is not being met. Next step, ask for a conversation with your conflict partner. Somewhere face-to-face, or at least voice-to-voice with plenty of privacy. Once you're at the table, thank your conflict partner for joining you and express your perspective about what the issue is and let them know what values or needs are important to you.
From there, invite your conflict partner to offer their perspective, and listen. Hear your partner out. If you listen without interjection and counterpoint, very often, you'll discover a slice of information that helps solve the entire issue. For just about everyone on the planet, these initial steps are the most challenging, but they are crucial to workability.