S. Amir Kohan

Conflict Resolution

Conflict-Resolution Techniques. Some amount of conflict will always be present in
the workplace. The fact that it exists is not necessarily an unhealthy thing. When it is
resolved quickly and effectively, it can lead to personal and professional growth. In many
cases, effective conflict resolution can make the difference between positive and negative
outcomes. The “Leader’s 5-Step Guide to Conflict Resolution”41 recommends five steps
in the conflict-resolution process.

1. Affirm the relationship. I am here because I value your friendship more than
I value the discomfort of confronting my hurt feelings.
2. Seek to understand. Covey’s thoughts on listening are worth their weight in gold,
teaching one to seek the other person’s feelings, thoughts, and perspectives first.
3. Seek to be understood. After understanding, share one’s feelings, thoughts, and
perspectives, not in an attacking mode but in an effort for the other party to see
one’s views.
4. Own responsibility by apologizing. Seek to see where any, if not all, of the
conflict is one’s responsibility, learning to respond differently in the future. A
genuine apology not only affirms the relationship but can do wonders in releasing
hurt feelings.
5. Seek agreement. After both parties have apologized, accepting responsibility for
their parts in the conflict, seeking agreement means reuniting on the common
vision that drew both sides together in the first place, agreeing that the cause is
bigger than the conflict is for both parties.

One-on-One Resolution. Rarely do two parties involved in the conflict have the skills to
dig themselves out of the pit they find themselves in. That requires help from a coach
such as an HR professional. The coach will facilitate one-on-one discussions to help the
two people identify what they want and why it is important for the other party to also
get what they want. Identifying something that will be satisfactory to each party is what
the coaching process is designed to accomplish.

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