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Conflict Management Demystified

Conflicts can be anywhere!

  • At work, home, elsewhere

  • Many people find it difficult to manage conflict because they don’t know HOW to do it.

  • “If I tell the other person what I really think, this could be the end of the relationship!”

  • “Stop what I want to really say for the sake of continuing the relationship!”

  • ”tell people what I think, and later realise that this effectively ended the relationship!”

  • It is not the conflict, and how I handle the conflict! Am I going to react or respond

Frame of mind, most likely, in conflict situations

  • I am right!

  • You are wrong!

  • You ought to do what I am telling you to!

  • By deduction, I want to win – and you to lose!

  • This makes one another push each other back, and leads to further conflict! Remember: Whatever one resists, persists! What one accepts, disappears!

  • Almost always, the stronger person wins, and not always with the most optimal solution

  • Remember: One CANNOT “win a fight in a relationship!” – the moment one is fighting, they have lost. And winning a fight only means I have created a future disgruntled opponent!

Simple techniques for managing any kind of conflict:
  • Listen to understand:

  • feelings first, data next

  • active, inspiring listening (no interruptions)

  • clarify understanding (no rebuttals)

  • Communicate to explain (feelings first, data next):

  • feelings and thoughts

  • support with data and reasoning

  • clarify assumptions

  • communicate inspiringly

  • weave understanding from listening into speaking

  • Negotiate inspiringly and fairly:

  • be clear about “Must haves”

  • be flexible with the “nice to haves”

  • let go of the “bells and whistles”

  • the answer is somewhere in the middle

  • Clarify and recap understanding:

  • who does what?

  • by when?

  • Thank the other

  • Sincerely

  • With words, tone, and body language

“There is an immutable conflict at work in life and in business, a constant battle between peace and chaos. Neither can be mastered, but both can be influenced. How you go about that is the key to success.”

Phil Knight


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