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Text comes from the book: “The career driving license: Tips for success for everyone who starts to work” (2011), published by Campus Verlag, reprinted with the kind permission of the publisher.

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Best of HR –®Prof. Dr. Martin-Niels Däfler teaches at the University of Economics and Management (FOM) in Frankfurt am Main. Dafler, born in 1969, studied business administration and has been working as an independent communications and marketing consultant and trainer ever since - his clients include both large and medium-sized companies as well as numerous associations and academies. Since the beginning of 2010 he has been a lecturer at the University of Economics and Management (FOM) in Frankfurt am Main. His publications include "The career driver's license - tips for success for everyone who starts working". All texts from Professor Dr. Martin-Niels Däfler.

Team conflicts resolve in 10 steps: settling quarrels through communication

Conflicts are completely normal in our daily job, and you can hardly avoid them with the greatest effort. Therefore, we should learn to handle you properly. 10 steps to solve the problem.

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Resolve conflicts in 10 steps

If you want to see it in a positive light, arguments are a sign of a lively culture of conversation and often a reason for change. But: you have to tackle it properly!

Conflicts are often not resolved at all or not resolved objectively and therefore lead to long-term arguments between those involved, sometimes they can even "poison" the atmosphere within an entire department. To avoid such negative consequences, you should pay attention to the following advice.

Hot iron in time to tackle

Take on "hot topics" or sensitive issues early on and avoid problems. Because unresolved, smoldering conflicts prevent constructive cooperation between those affected, strain the efficiency of the department and unnecessarily distract from important tasks. In addition, conflicts tend to increase in severity and extent over time.

If you're into a Konflikt are involved, the following procedure is recommended. You can of course also use this analogously if you, as a mediator, want or have to settle a dispute between colleagues or employees.

Step 1: Are there any solutions?

Before you even resolve a conflict, you should ask yourself: “Am I ready to end this argument and possibly make concessions?” If you know in advance that only the other person is to blame and that your behavior is impeccable , then it doesn't have one Senseto start arbitration - you must have a certain willingness to compromise / change.

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When it comes to a conflict in which you are not involved but act as a third party (neutral mediator), ask yourself, “Am I the right person to resolve this dispute?” Personal, hierarchical, authoritarian or other reasons can suggest that you'd better leave the arbitration to someone else.

Step 2: Analyze the history

First, consider how there could be any dispute at all. Try to remember what happened in the past. As a neutral conciliator, you should know how the conflict has come about who is involved and what has happened.

However, do not ask (yet) those directly affected, but only the environment. Do not interprete the information received, but keep in mind that the information may be deliberately or unconsciously wrong - so do not take everything at face value.

Step 3: Get in touch with your "counterparty"

Go to the people who are involved in the conflict and tell them that you want or need to solve the problem (the order of the superior). Ask those concerned what you are expecting from a conflict discussion and, if so, what fears they have.

Make yourself clear: Conflicts arise every day in our work and when we live together with others. What matters is how we deal with them and how we solve them. Best of all, step by step!

Step 4: Terminate the conflict conversation

Make an appointment with your "counterparty" or the person concerned. Appointments in the late afternoon are well suited, because then you don't have any pressure to “back off” and because those affected can go home immediately afterwards.

Choose a neutral place for the conflict discussion, not your office or that of the "opponent" or one of the parties concerned. Make sure that you are undisturbed, that there are no listeners, and that there are no supervisors present.

Step 5: Open the conflict conversation

Start the conversation by first listing the procedure imagine. After you have greeted your "counterparty" or those affected, explain the further process, which should consist of the following points (they correspond to the next steps 6 to 10):

  • Explaining conversation objectives and rules;
  • Presenting the views of those affected;
  • Working out similarities and differences;
  • Development of solutions;
  • Decision for a solution.

Once each stakeholder has presented his or her position, you should now work out the positions. First, try to get the people concerned to provide answers, then resolve the conflict together.

Step 6: Explain the call destination and the rules

Talk to your "counterparty" or the person concerned about this Objective of the conversation and go through the rules point by point: Say that the aim is not to clarify the question of guilt or to speak right, but that the goal is to solve the problem together.

Say that you do not appear as an opponent, but as an equal participant. If you act as a neutral conciliator: Say what your tasks are:

How is the conversation going?

  • They will work out different perspectives and points of view.
  • They will try to persuade those affected to understand the standpoints, needs and motives of the other side.
  • They will help develop solutions.
  • In all this, you will be strictly neutral and treat all information confidentially.

Name the call rules

  • It just gets factual Criticism presented.
  • There must be no accusations.
  • The interlocutors let each other out.

At the end of the conversation, make sure all attendees are ready to work on conflict resolution. If this is not the case, then you can end the conversation immediately.

Step 7: Let those affected represent your point of view

Now the real conflict resolution begins. Let your "counterparty" take precedence. Each of the conflict partners now one after the other describes the conflict from their own point of view, as concretely and specifically as possible.

Follow up, for example, when it says “Always do this and that” by asking, “Exactly when was this last?” Also, try to get participants to share their feelings. Very important in this phase: All other participants in the conversation are silent, there are no accusations, no discussions, no interruptions and no immediate search for solutions.

Step 8: Develop similarities and differences

Ask: “What do we agree on?” If the conflicting parties are silent, then you can find out where you have found common ground. This is very important because it helps those involved to see that they are not completely apart. Then turn to the differences. Ask, “What do we disagree about? What are the real sticking points? ”Put the results in writing because they are the basis for the next step.

Step 9: Develop solutions

At this stage of conflict resolution, work through each difference in turn. Decisive for the success is that the individual points are treated separately and not mixed together. Always follow the same pattern:

  • What are the solutions to the conflict partners to resolve this disagreement?
  • Which of the solutions are feasible?
  • Which of these solutions are accepted by you / your “adversary” / the conflict partners?

Pay attention to alternatives and compromises

Be sure to come up with more than one solution to help you make a real choice and make a compromise if necessary. Try to bring movement into positions by, for example, calling pros and cons to individual alternatives or brainstorming.

The important thing is: Allow all suggestions - after all, ideas that seem absurd at first can be the key to success. Pay particular attention to casually expressed offers to the other side, because they are often the determining factor for a friendly settlement. Ideally, there is a list of solution alternatives at the end of this phase.

Step 10: Choose a solution

Finally, it is a matter of you and your "counterparty" or the conflict partners agreeing on a solution. In order to ensure that the solution is permanent, you also need to define criteria with those affected by which they can measure whether the agreement is being met and adhered to.

Before you say goodbye to your "counterparty" / the participants in the conversation, you should repeat all the results (solutions and criteria) again and make sure that the parties to the conflict have understood the same thing. Finally, ask the question: "After this conversation, can you (again) work constructively with me / with each other in the future?"

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6 answers to "Solving conflicts in a team in 10 steps: Settling disputes through communication"

  1. Law seeker says:

    In some cases it can also be helpful to use professional mediators. Those who also provide lawyers and specialist advisors to the conflicting parties. Conflicts can arise in the most varied of areas, in the family, then it would be something for family law, in the business area, then you would need financial experts as additional advisors. In any case, the solution-oriented discussion is the appropriate means.

  2. says:

    RT @holgerfroese: The career guide: In 10 steps solve a conflict (part 1) #Business

  3. Kai Pehrisch says:

    The Career Leadership: In 10 steps, resolve a conflict (part 1) #Business

  4. Holger Froese says:

    The Career Leadership: In 10 steps, resolve a conflict (part 1) #Business

  5. Meta HR GmbH says:

    #Blogpost The career driver's license: Solving a conflict in 10 steps (Part 1): In professional life, conflicts are ...

  6. Simone Janson says:

    #Blogpost The career driver's license: Solving a conflict in 10 steps (Part 1): In professional life, conflicts are ...

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