Top Techniques for Workplace Conflict Resolution

September 25, 2018

Building an executive presence is about being in control of your emotions when you’re under stress. It’s about knowing yourself well enough to clearly see the impact and influence you have on others. It’s about managing your behaviors so you always foster trust and credibility. It’s about leaving absolutely no doubt about the value you contribute to others and your organization. And it’s about actively monitoring and managing your reputation to achieve important outcomes.

In Executive Presence: The Art of Commanding Respect Like a CEO, best-selling author Harrison Monarth recommends that managers and professionals striving to bolster their executive presence can and should adopt the following techniques for resolving conflict — not so much to win as to navigate conflict situations toward outcomes that include strengthened relationships, a greater sense of teamwork and a mutual resolve to take the organization forward:

10 Strategies for Resolving Workplace Conflict:

  1. Use active listening. Hearing and understanding the logic and reasoning of both sides is critical to the creation of a mutually satisfying resolution.
  2. Separate the positions from the issues. Begin with the issue and then view the positions in that context.
  3. Understand and validate. As an arbitrating manager, it is critical that you not only seek to understand both positions in a conflict but also validate each party’s claim to what he or she believes is right.
  4. Empathize. The power of empathy in conflict resolution cannot be overstated.
  5. Implement boundaries and expectations. Because you are a manager, people are looking to you to clarify boundaries and expectations for behavior and outcomes.
  6. Be tactful. If you remain sensitive to their feelings, they’ll remain open to your input.
  7. Explore the issues and alternatives. If you can get them to talk about an alternative, you’re on the way to getting them to accept one.
  8. Use ‘I’ statements. If you say, ‘I was angry when you said that about me,’ you’ll be greeted with more openness than if you said, ‘What you said about me was wrong.’
  9. The power of stroking. If you can find something positive to say about the other person in the heat of a dispute, that person will be more open to hearing what you have to say about the issue at hand.
  10. Attack the issues, not the person. As an arbitrating manager, listen for anything that is personal in nature and bring the conversation back to the issue as quickly as possible.

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