I like this Max Lucado quote,
"Conflict is inevitable, but combat is optional."
Did you know that we each spend three hours per week dealing with conflict? That's 156 hours a year and equal to an entire month!
I like Lucado's reminder that when you and I disagree, and we probably will, we do not have to "suit up" for combat.
Why do we bring out the "big guns" when we disagree, and what can we do about it?
One key reason we are so quick to "go to war" is we don't know how to disagree or effectively discuss differences, and we don't have many good role models to show us the way.
||Click and Print P.R.E.P. Actions - Flash Card
To meet this need I've created a
four step process
that I use when facilitating conflict. I've shared this process with hundreds of leaders in workshops.
Four 'How to Handle Conflict Like a Pro' Action Steps
are easy to remember using the acronym -
and are outlined in this downloadable
. (If you've completed a
assessment with me, be sure to see side two of the card, for style and motivator tips.)
Learn more about each step in my latest Wake Up Eager Workforce Podcast,
Episode #35: How to Handle Conflict Like a Pro.
In addition, here are two conflict resolution tips you can use right now:
- When starting any difficult conversation share your intent first. Why? People don't get defensive because of the content of what you're saying. They get defensive because of the intent they perceive behind what you're saying. If someone gets defensive, stop talking about the issue and clarify your intentions. Help them understand your motives by sharing what you really want out of this conversation for you, for them and for the relationship.
- If someone is upset, sad, stressed or venting - NEVER tell them to "Relax..." Instead - acknowledge their emotions, show empathy. Why? Telling someone to "relax" when they're upset, though probably said with good intentions, is considered emotion suppression - which typically backfires. When people are told to hide how they feel, and when they try to clamp down on the emotion it actually leaks out more! (Instead of saying "Relax..." Listen Aggressively by reflecting, probing and supporting. An effective response could be something as simple as, "Looks like you're having a tough day... What's going on?")
Pull out those camouflage pants ONLY at fitness boot camp and your guns when you're at the gun range, NOT at work. Instead, when in conflict have a conversation that matters by using the Four
How to Handle Conflict
Like a Pro Steps (P.R.E.P.).