Saturday, November 12, 2011

Conflict Resolution

The Women Taking Action group in Siren, Wis., held a seminar on "Conflict Resolution" last month that I had the opportunity to help lead. The Women Taking Action group is a network of professional women in Northwestern Wisconsin that meet to learn from eachother and develop their careers. Participants completed a conflict mode assessment. Each person explored the five modes of handling conflict below and how as individuals, we handle conflict on a personal and professional level.

1) Competing
2) Collaborating
3) Compromising
4) Avoiding
5) Accommodating

Organizations (people) must have a process in place when handling conflict, so everyone is on the same page and knows what the steps are. Employees maybe confused about who should they talk with and what should they do next. Confusion creates “we” against “them” scenarios.

Some thoughts to consider when in a conflict situation is:
• What would you like for the outcome of this?
• What is your agenda for your discussion with the person you’re having conflict with?
• Would you like to brainstorm/coach with someone about how the details of this meeting will flow?
• Focus on solutions and not the past.

We also explored communication skills:
1) Stay focused
2) Listen carefully
3) Try to see their point of view
4) Respond to criticism with empathy
5) Own what’s yours
6) Use “I’ messages
7) Look for compromise
8) Take a time-out and
9) Don’t give up.

Maltee McMahon, NRS, Wisconsin

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