5 key questions to quickly solve conflicts
Updated: Nov 20, 2019
Conflict resolution is the process to reach that end goal when viewpoints differ.
When you are in conflict with someone, your instinct is to prove the other wrong.
This is a natural reaction as conflicts arise out of polarized viewpoints.
However, once a conflict happens, we need to be conscious to take a moment and assess the situation. The outcome is everything, so unless you want to part ways, the focus will be on bridging the polarized viewpoints.
This may require much more reflection on your part than you think.
1. What is the context?
Are we arguing about the same point? Is the conflict over the “whole” thing or just “parts” of it? Communication is key, so you can always ask things to be explained and clarified. At times, what is being said and where the issues are may not be the same.
2. What exactly is my counterpart saying?
Are we really listening? In the heat of the moment, we are prone to make snap judgements, and the more upset you are, the more likely you take things in a negative manner. In fact, when tensions are high, people tend to go into survival mode. This means your brain is on the defensive and your responses to stimuli and stresses are negative instead of mostly positive.
3. Am I stating facts or assumptions?
Sometimes, we think we have received certain information from our counterparts, whereas in fact, we have made an assumption based on how we see things. Basing conversations on assumptions are ineffective as it usually leads to more misunderstandings. Take a moment before you talk or shoot an email and consider this point.
4. Why is my point important?
In order to reach an amicable resolution, you will need to know where everyone stands. Start with where you stand, and ask yourself this question.
Try to do the same for other point of views by imagining yourself in your counterpart’s shoes. Mapping it out allows you to see the bigger picture.
5. What can I live with?
The best scenario for all in a conflict situation is to come out of it with the relationship still in tact, which usually means that some form of mutual benefit has been reached. In order to do so, you need to know what you can live with.
This is where one needs to see beyond the best way out for themselves.
Bessern Director of Organizational Leadership and Culture