Tips for Leaders to Facilitate Conflict Resolution
by Rob Marchalonis.
Ever find yourself in the middle, between employees or associates who disagree or have conflict? Like good parents and counselors, leaders can play an important role in facilitating communication, promoting understanding, and strengthening relationships between others whom they lead or influence.
Do not be surprised if people tend to draw you into their issues. They probably value and respect your input. Sometimes just listening as a mentor or friend is all that is needed. Your challenge is to be supportive and helpful, without overstepping boundaries or adding to unproductive drama. If you feel compelled to engage, here is one way to proceed with a simple 5-step process:
- Gain Understanding. Avoid quick judgement. Ask questions to get more information. Listen carefully.
- What happened? Why does this concern you?
- How long has this been an issue? Who else is affected? What is the ideal outcome?
- What would you recommend? Who can help you with this? What do you plan to do next?
- Provide Perspective. What related conditions or circumstances are relevant, for you to add context?
- External – to what extent are economic, political, social, or other outside forces affecting the issue?
- Organizational – how can your purpose, vision, mission, values, or goals guide your response or correction?
- Personal – how are an individual’s background, experience, education, or other circumstances relevant?
- Honor the Absent. As a third-party, use care and discretion – especially when one participant is missing.
- Acknowledge the missing person, “With (person) not here to give their input or defend themself…”
- Facilitate awareness and sensitivity to the other side, “…why do you think they would behave this way?”
- Defend, where appropriate and with permission, “Can I take the other side, just for us to discuss?”
- Promote Self Awareness and Control. How are all parties behaving?
- Assess to what extent everyone is aware of their behaviors and impact on others.
- Encourage self-discipline and consideration of others. “Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you.”
- Remind, “You may have little control of your circumstances, but much control of how you choose to respond.”
- Facilitate Communication. One great way to resolve conflict is with a discussion.
- Confirm what interactions happened in the past, how they went, and what was the outcome.
- Encourage the parties to connect on their own to resolve their issues. “Have you spoken with them about this?”
- Moderate a discussion between both sides, using the list above to help them identify a solution or next steps.
Be a Bridge Builder
You could be the one to facilitate understanding, communication, and better relationships between others who disagree. Consider it an opportunity, rather than a burden, to be stuck in the middle.
Rob Marchalonis helps organizations and leaders prosper and grow with simple Leadership, Strategy, and Process solutions. Learn more at www.LSP123.com or email Rob@LSP123.com ©2020
More Business Advice
Business owners, employers, and leaders can sharpen their skills with the content below.
How I Settle My Mind to Get Needed Rest by Rob Marchalonis. I confess, some of my most difficult times as a leader have been in the middle of the night. Can you relate? As a younger leader, I would often lay awake in bed for minutes (or hours) during the quiet...
Consider an Advisory Board
Gain Priceless Wisdom and Experience by Rob Marchalonis If your business could tap into the most successful, experienced, and smartest leaders in your community or industry, how might it benefit? By creating an “advisory board”, you can gain access to wisdom and...
Leading Through Crisis
12 Steps to Guide Your Response by Rob Marchalonis. If you are a leader, it’s almost certain you will eventually have to lead through a crisis. The types of crises can vary, but consider those caused by natural disasters, economic circumstances, health concerns,...
Game Play Mimics Business
A Fun Way to Multiply Your Results by Rob Marchalonis. Have you played a new app or board game lately? How did it go? Did you feel somewhat confused as you learned the rules and how to “play” the game? Business leaders can learn a lot from gameplay, especially by...
Good People, Bad Decisions
Ways to Understand and Guide Better Decision Making by Rob Marchalonis My education, experience, and faith have taught me that every person has amazing potential for “good”. In general, I think positively about others and believe that most are well-intended. Would you...
Productivity Plan Overview
When I work with business owners and leaders to improve organizational performance, there are almost always opportunities to improve workgroup productivity and results. Among the many ways to accomplish this, one simple approach is to start with the four "P”s: Purpose...
Test Your Next Policy Change, Before Rollout
Have a Big Idea to Launch? By Rob Marchalonis. Before you implement a significant change that will affect your employees, consider starting with a “test” rather than a final decision. If you plan to mess with a person’s “time, treasure, or trust” be very careful,...
Idea, Hobby, or Business?
Questions to Evolve a Great Idea into a Legacy Business. by Rob Marchalonis What’s the Goal for Your Big Idea? Clients, friends, family, and others regularly share their business ideas with me. Usually, the ideas are exchanged in casual conversation to get a first...
Better Workgroup Productivity – Here’s How
Want More Productive Workgroups? Business leaders, which of your workgroups would you like to be more productive? Think about your senior leaders, sales, operations, manufacturing, service, or support teams. Is there one group in particular that, if you could just...
Launch Productive Employee One-to-One Meetings
"One-to-Ones Could Be Your Most Productive Activity as a Leader" by Rob Marchalonis. The benefits of one-to-one meetings with employees are numerous, but many leaders aren't sure how to begin or the best way to structure these engagements. As a result, they can be...