Leadership Lessons

Conflict Management

Taken from michaelhyatt.com

Although many leaders resist conflict, the act of conflict can actually be a positive experience. Below Michael Hyatt discusses the power of conflict transformation.

Conflict Transformation is a way to view conflict. It sees conflict not as a problem to be managed or resolved but as an opportunity to strengthen the common life of any group.

Here are six keys to conflict transformation:
  1. View conflict as opportunity. We usually see conflict as a problem and, therefore, dread dealing with it. Learn to see conflict for what it is, a valuable look beneath the surface of your organization.
  2. Respect your adversary. Pride is the primary obstacle to transforming conflict. When you are sure you’re right, the other person is wrong, and - even worse - see them as the problem, the conflict is sure to escalate or stalemate.
  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?" If you can’t envision your adversary as part of your future, you can’t transform your conflict.
  5. Know when to quit. A conflict cannot be transformed unless both parties are willing to negotiate in good faith. If the other party is committed to being contentious, you may need to walk away - or at least maintain a holding pattern. Conflict transformation is not the same as capitulation.
  6. Capture the learning. Conflicts are symptoms of underlying tension, so they are likely to resurface at some point. How will you capture - and communicate - the lessons from the current conflict so they help you navigate a future one?
Conflict is inevitable, but fallout from that conflict can often be avoided. By opening your mind to see possibilities other than either winning or losing, you may be able to transform your current conflict and the culture of your organization.

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