The main question to answer before resolving any conflict
The main question that has to be answered with an unequivocal “yes” before a conflict can be resolved. Everyone involved in the conflict must answer decisively, and be truthful, or it is unlikely that a positive and conclusive resolution will happen.
The main question is: Are you willing to end the conflict?
Conflicts will not end unless both parties are willing to end them. In the Middle East, the Palestinians and Israelis will not find peace until both peoples are willing to end the conflict. After lengthy periods of short-term cease fires, it seems clear that at least one party in this war, if not both, does not want the war to end. Until both parties in this conflict can bet past this first question, conflict will continue.
Similarly, in social and family situations, we see long-standing conflicts continue, between siblings, spouses, or parents and their children. In these circumstances, one or both parties to the conflict would rather be right than give up the conflict. Until they are willing to give up their requirement to be right, the conflict will continue – even if in the form of a cold shoulder silence.
Step one in ending any conflict is being willing to end the conflict.
Having an objective, outside adviser can be extremely valuable and effective when your organisation has conflicts. This is especially true during times of change, transition, mergers, crucial strategic initiatives, and volatility. Conflicts will come up, and you want to have an expert on your side who can help you navigate through the people side of these efforts.
Here is a step-by-step process to resolve any conflict, which you could consider:
Step One: Answer Two Key Questions:
Question One: Are you willing to resolve the conflict?
Question Two: Are you willing to take 100% responsibility for your impact in resolving the conflict?
Step Two: Understand the situation and the other person
Step Three: Understand your own needs, wants, and goals
Step Four: Assess your style compared to the other person’s style
Step Five: Develop a clear influence strategy to move in a positive direction
Step Six: Prepare for what might not go your way
Step Seven: Rehearse with an objective colleague or adviser
The above questions are not always straightforward to answer without an objective ‘outside’ adviser, and the stakes are high when conflicts reach the point of being unproductive or negatively effecting results. For more information about the above steps or for assistance, please contact us.