Steps of Conflict Transformation

  1. View conflict as opportunity. Learn to see conflict as a valuable look beneath the surface of your organization.
  2. Respect your adversary. Pride is the primary obstacle to transforming conflict. 
  3. Identify primary issues. Always look beyond the presenting issue to name the real problem.
  4. Envision a shared future. Begin with the question “How can we create something better for both of us?”
  5. Know when to quit. If the other party is committed to being contentious, you may need to walk away—or at least maintain a holding pattern. 
  6. Capture the learning. Capture—and communicate—the lessons from the current conflict so they help you navigate a future one.

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MORE IDEAS FROM THE ARTICLE

  • Conflict management assumes that conflict is a constant feature of group life. The idea is to keep it within boundaries, not to eliminate it.
  • Conflict resolution sees conflict as an interruption of normal life. The idea is to find a solution—usually a compromise—as quickly as possible.

In most cases, neither approach adequately deals with the issue. 

A way to view conflict not as a problem to be managed or resolved,  but as an opportunity to strengthen the common life of any group.

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RELATED IDEAS

  1. Define Acceptable Behavior. Create a framework for decisioning, use a published delegation of authority statement, encourage sound business practices in collaboration, team building, leadership development, and talent management .
  2. Hit Conflict Head-on. Intervene pro-actively.
  3. Don't play favorites, don’t get involved in drama, and don’t tolerate manipulative, self-serving behavior.
  4. Understand the other’s motivations prior to weighing in. Take the action that will help others best achieve their goals.
  5. The Importance Factor. Avoid conflict for the sake of conflict.
  6. View Conflict as Opportunity. Divergent positions addressed properly can stimulate innovation and learning in ways like minds can't even imagine.

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IDEAS

Build on common ground

No matter how much conflict and tension there may be between two parties there is usually something that can agree on. Using this as a foundation, one can more easily bridge the gap between the conflicting parties.

Stepping into the mindset of those you argue with allows you to figure out what’s influencing them. 

Showing empathy will lower the temperature of the debate and allow both of you to come to a resolution.

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