How Leaders Define and Deal With Conflict
Welcome to the weekly podcast from The Backbone Institute!
DEALING WITH CONFLICT
How do you define conflict?
I don’t know many people who really like conflict, but it exists.
We tend to lump everything together that makes us uncomfortable and call it conflict, but that’s accurate.
Is a Different point of view conflict? – Not necessarily
Are Different objectives? – Yes
How about Different methods of achieving a goal? – Possibly, especially between generations.
COMMON CAUSES OF CONFLICT AT WORK
• Competition for credit
• Jealousy among co-workers
• Disagreement about best way to achieve goals (we’ve always done it this way vs. faster, cheaper ways)
• Disagreement about priorities
• Disagreement about value of contributions (most people have a higher opinion of themselves than might be warranted)
COMMON CAUSES OF CONFLICT AT HOME
• Competition for credit/attention
• Jealousy of outside influences
• Misunderstandings in communication
– He said/She said
– Blue Circle
• Disagreement about priorities and values
In conflict situation:
• Be clear about what you want – now and over time
• Recognize/acknowledge other points of view
• Listen for cause/source of conflict
• DO NOT PERSONALIZE
• Take time to calm down when you’re angry, excited – come back to conversation when you’re feeling more balanced
• Hurts in the moment – can create a flash point, not what you want!
• What does it mean over time (will it matter in 6 weeks, 6 months)?
• Recognize that you’ve handled disappointment before
• Learn how to manage your emotions – Step back
• Practice putting disappointment in perspective
• Find productive means of expressing anger, hurt
– Talk to a trusted friend/colleague
– Write out your feelings – write a letter but DO NOT SEND!
• Give yourself 24 hours to decide what to do – Cool down period is vital, but can be very difficult to do
CALL UP YOUR CHARACTER!
Think of a current conflict you’re struggling with.
Who is involved?
What is the source of the conflict? Be objective!
What outcome would you like to see?
Recognize your disappointment with the situation.
Acknowledge your emotions.
Believe that the disappointment will pass and act according to long-term goals.
If the conflict is something you are not likely to resolve, think of your options and decide how to deal with it.
You have tremendous freedom to create a life that is meaningful and satisfying. When you can learn to deal effectively with conflict and manage life’s disappointments, you will feel stronger, happier and more in charge. It’s work worth doing!