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10 Ways to Keep a Conflict from Escalating

· Communication,Conflict,Leadership

Today’s message is an excerpt from The Manager’s Conflict Resolution Handbook; Geller and Cottrell.

  1. Get all the facts and clearly identify the problem.
  2. Encourage people to challenge the status quo so that all different opinions are on the table from the outset.
  3. Do your best to see the positive in situations and people.
  4. Be willing to listen and consider all viewpoints, especially those you disagree with.
  5. When others explain their intention and viewpoints, summarize and paraphrase to confirm understanding.
  6. Look for common ground in any difficult situation.
  7. When possible, resolve one issue at a time.
  8. Deal with the molehills, before they become mountains!
  9. Only send and respond to emails that are informational in nature. If there is any hint of disagreement, meet in person or pick up the phone.
  10. Watch and listen for inconsistencies between people’s words and their nonverbal behaviors and encourage them to voice their concerns.

“Successful leaders manage conflict; they don’t shy away from it or suppress it but see it as an engine of creativity and innovation. Some of the most creative ideas come out of people in conflict remaining in conversation with one another rather than flying into their own corners or staking out entrenched positions. The challenge for leaders is to develop structures and processes in which such conflicts can be orchestrated productively.”

- Ronald Heifetz and Marty Linsky