Resolving a Conflict

As a leader, it is inevitable that you will face situations that demand effective Conflict Management. Before you go any further, do you know if the conflict is hot or cold? = Neither of these is productive. Conflicts that are open for discussion that has not turned hostile are far more likely to be productive.

Hot conflict is when one or more parties are highly emotional and doing one or more of the following:

Shouting, Abusing, Showing physical aggression, Threatening, Using incendiary language, Appearing out of control and potentially explosive. Cold conflict is when one or more parties is suppressing emotions and are doing one or more of the following: muttering under their breath, being physically withdrawn or controlled, remaining silent or speaking in a tone that is passively aggressive. Whether the conflict is "Hot" or " Cold", your goal is not to compromise but to bridge the divide and finding
out a solution.

You cannot acquire conflict resolution skills overnight, as it will take time, practice, and reflection to master it.

It would be beneficial to keep the following advice in mind

  • Do not rush to act: Otherwise, you might say or do something you regret.
  • Determine your goal and focus on it: Do not get distracted; stick to what matters.
  • Avoid name-calling and finger pointing: Focus on the problem, not the people.
  • Beware of self-righteousness: Keep an open mind; you may find that you can learn something of value. Listen to everything, but respond selectively. You do not have to address every point — just the ones that make a difference.
  • Take stock before you take sides: Do not speak or take any other action until you have really heard the other person out. Do not leap to conclusions before you have a firm grasp of the situation.
  • Consider calling in a third party: Someone who is not involved in the conflict may be able to provide vital perspective for both parties.
  • Let your adversary know you: Letting down your guard and letting the other person in may help them understand your point of view.
  • Check the temperature gauge: If the conflict is still too hot, do not try to resolve it right away. Agree to come back when things have cooled.
  • Observe the Golden rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Be polite. Be compassionate. It may inspire your adversary to do the same.

Your ability to navigate will reveal your character as a leader.


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