CONFLICT AND RESPECT

CONFLICT AND RESPECT

Disagreements are inevitable, especially when you work closely with others who care as deeply as you do about doing a good job. Sometimes you’ll feel very strongly that YOUR WAY will be the best way, and you may be right! But if you’ve ever been on the other side of that situation—where you want so badly to be listened to and taken seriously—you can understand how frustrating it is to be shut down. Remember, there’s more than one path to the top of the mountain! Be willing to listen to other ideas, and give them your FULL and OPEN-MINDED consideration. Allow others to take the lead and you’ll earn the respect worthy of a great leader.

On those occasions when problems arise, here’s a helpful way to remember how to maintain the respect of everyone involved.

RESPOND

Rather than just react, process your ideas and respond clearly. You mustn’t get emotional when you respond! That only escalates the conflict.

EXPRESS

Let the person know that you also understand his side of the issue by listening actively and responding appropriately. But TRULY LISTEN! If you’re thinking about what you’re going to say next while the other person is talking, you’re not really listening and the other person will know it!

SPECIFIC

Be specific in what you are saying and where you want it to lead. Plan out what you want to say in advance and have a clear outcome in mind. Be able to state what the result will be.

POSITIVE

Be supportive and positive in your choice of words and tone of voice.  Use “I” statements instead of “you” statements (e.g., “I feel like…” as opposed to “You make me feel like…”).

EMPATHY

Make an honest effort to consider the feelings of the other person and imagine yourself in his situation.

CONTROL

You must remain calm, controlled, and clear in your tone of voice, body language, and choice of words.  Don’t interrupt and remember to “key down” below the emotional level of the person with whom you are dealing.

TRUCE

Whether you get what you want or not, remain friends and keep your emotions under control!  Be willing to give a little and you will find you have the advantage the next time a conflict arises.

If you have any questions or if you’d like to brainstorm a particular idea, contact Frank Troyka at frank@systemblue.org.