Leadership requires numerous people working together as a team, and such cases are likely to produce disagreement and conflict. Conflict is simply a fact of life, unless you’re the only person left on the planet. Even then, it’s likely you’d have an argument with yourself at some point!
All conflict results from violated expectations, but it doesn’t always have to be a bad thing. It can serve as a tool to deepen our understanding of others and ourselves. The end result can add great strength and depth to the relationships involved. It’s worth the effort to resolve it. So when you find yourself in a conflict with someone, don’t be surprised, and embrace this simple process.
1. Face it quickly. Don’t ignore it. It won’t get resolved automatically.
2. Eat together. If possible, take the person to lunch or out to dinner to work it out. I have found that a meal together is like a miraculous therapeutic conflict medicine, and increases the likelihood of a resolution.
3. Take responsibility. Acknowledge your part of the conflict, and apologize. If you are in a conflict, you are NEVER completely innocent of having contributed.
4. Be nice. Life is too short to be arrogant and angry. Treat EVERYONE involved with respect and dignity, as if it’s your last day to live. It might be!
5. Don’t gossip. Keep it contained to the people involved. Gossip and backstabbing NEVER helps resolve an issue. The more people involved, the more difficult it is to resolve.
6. Just fix it. Together, find a solution and commit to move forward.
An ignored conflict today will hinder the teams’ and your success tomorrow, so resolve it NOW!
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