Many people believe that conflict is unhealthy and in reality the opposite is true. The main secret is that the conflict must be directed towards the issues and not at individuals or their personalities.
When conflict gets to the point of needing resolution I like the acronym RESPECT.
R – Review the situation
Get everyone involved and review the situation to gain clarity of the problem.
E – Explore all possible solutions
Once again everyone needs to be involved for the powerful brainstorming session. It needs to be treated like a brainstorming session meaning that all ideas are on the table and no criticizing is allowed.
S – Solve the problem
Here is where all parties agree on a solution.
P – Prepare a follow up plan
Just because the problem is solved (at least on paper) you will need a follow up plan to ensure its success.
E – Expect cooperation
Now is this is where the bonding comes in. By telling each person what is expected of him/her and gaining commitment you are getting a buy-in towards a more powerful solution.
C – Confirm agreement
Get everyone to sign an agreement that they will abide by the solution. After all, our forefathers did just that with the Declaration of Independence.
T – Track the progress
Just because you have a solution and an agreement does not mean it will succeed. Tracking the progress increases the likelihood this solution will succeed and significant negative conflict will be avoided.
I know this seems a bit out of left field, and while it will not work on every conflict situation… the process works tremendously well on both individual, as well as team conflict that seems to be getting out of hand.
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