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 solved or solved in an inoffensive manner and therefore lead to a long-term dispute between the participants, sometimes they can even "poison" the atmosphere within a whole department. To avoid such negative consequences, you should consider the following note.
Hot iron in time to tackle
Be sure to tackle "hot irons" or sensitive issues early on and do not bother with problems. For unresolved, smoldering conflicts prevent constructive cooperation between those affected, burden the efficiency of the department and unnecessarily divert attention from the important tasks. In addition, conflicts tend to increase in severity and severity over time.
If you are involved in a conflict, then the following procedure is recommended. Naturally, you can also apply this if you, as an intermediary, 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 dispute and possibly even make concessions?" If you know in advance that only the other one is at fault and your behavior is flawless then there is no point in trying to mediate - there must be some compromise / willingness to change.
When it comes to a conflict in which you are not involved, but act as a third party (neutral arbitrator), ask yourself, "Am I the right person to resolve this dispute?" Personal, hierarchical, authoritarian or other reasons can argue that you better leave mediation 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: Contact 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.
Become aware: Conflicts arise daily in our work and in coexistence with others. What matters is how we treat them and how we solve them. Best step by step!
Step 4: Terminate the conflict conversation
Make an appointment with your "counterparty" or the person concerned. Dates are very suitable in the late afternoon, because then you have no pressure "back out" and because those affected can then go home immediately.
Choose a neutral place for the conflict discussion, ie not your office or that of the "counterparty" or one of the affected parties. Make sure you are undisturbed, have no listeners, and that there are no superiors present.
Step 5: Open the conflict conversation
Begin the conversation by following the procedure first imagine, After you have welcomed your "opponent" or those concerned, 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.
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