Leadership Quick Tip: Talking About Conflict

Remember that people experience conflict differently — yet we often assume everyone sees it the same way.

For example, I have a tendency to slow things down and take stock of what happened. In fact, when I led teams, they use to think I was angry at them when something went wrong because I would get quiet, and go into analysis mode. I wasn’t angry in most cases! I simply like to take the time to properly figure out how to get myself (and others) out of conflict.

You, however, might have a tendency to move fast and resolve things quickly. Or maybe you want to give in on something that doesn’t matter much in order to end the conflict.

Guess what? We’re probably going to tweak each other and it’s going to get worse.

Talk to your people about how they feel when they experience conflict. Ask them what they want. Time, harmony, quick action? You might be surprised.

Conversations about conflict before you’re in it will give you insights into how to support each other to get out of it.

For example, I need time to think. Give that to me, and I’ll feel better faster. But you won’t know to do that unless you know that about me.

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