Resolving conflict in the workplace is the #1 topic that comes up during my private coaching sessions or workshops. Bullies and the usual negative suspects drive my clients crazy! They want to know how to deal with them without saying something that they will be sorry about the next day!
We use 3 strategies that help them gain control while helping them achieve better results with these tough individuals. I write about these tools repeatedly because my readers ask me to do so. We all know that constant reinforcement helps us break old habits and make the new ones permanent. Let me know if you have tried these out to help you resolving conflict in the workplace.
Resolving Conflict in the Workplace Strategy #1: The GAP
The GAP is the perfect tool to use when you want to gain control during a tough situation. I use it when I need to step back and NOT react since my natural behavior is to react. Hey, why do you think I help others deal with their conflict?
Pull back when someone makes you mad. I remind myself NOT to respond and decide what learning experience will occur by using the GAP. This tool has helped me many times when I used to get into trouble by speaking my truth. Listening and not responding is hard for most of us. After awhile this tool becomes a wonderful friend to my clients when the use it!
Resolving Conflict in the Workplace Strategy #2: Make the Environment Safe
Using “I don’t want…I do want” is a tool that ALL my clients thank me for when they learn how to use it and when it becomes a habit. For example, I used this tool with a recent client when he wanted me to coach Brad, his employee. Brad was being considered to become the next director of a department. Brad was not open to feedback from me and his team. I had that tough conversation with my client by expressing my concern about Brad.
“I don’t want to create stress between us since we have a great working relationship. I do want to express my concern working with Brad about a promotion since he is not open to constructive feedback. Brad is not ready to be coached now.” My client understood the dilemma and he had to deal with Brad who wasn’t promoted due to this closed mindset. He was a decent employee but was not ready to take on a leadership role.
Resolving Conflict in the Workplace Strategy #3: Be Direct with Respect®
Be Direct with Respect® is a trademark of mine that has helped many clients express their truth during uncomfortable conversations. This tool gives the person using it a formula and the person receiving the message is given a direct communication in a respectful way. Using I am…when…because helps you plan almost any conversation and you will receive great results.
I used this tool when I spoke to my client about Brad. “I was concerned when I spoke to Brad because he was defensive about all the feedback.” My client understood the dilemma immediately. There was no confusion. This was a red flag on how he had to deal with Brad on his own at this time, even though we both hoped that Brad could be coached in the future if we wanted to grow professionally.
Resolving Conflict in the Workplace Articles that you may have missed
The following 3 articles all deal with resolving conflict in the workplace. I hope that you enjoy them and find some answers to your own questions.
- Read this article: 5 Words to Reduce Conflict in the Workplace. You will experience a case scenario on how to deal with sarcasm.
- Read this article: Workplace Bullying is a Hot Training Topic. You will learn all about the Power Talk Formula and another case scenario that may sound familiar to you.
- Read this article: Strategic Communications: Disarm Tough Conversations. It covers the importance of constructive feedback and choices on how you can react during difficult communication.
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Read more articles and listen to podcasts on resolving conflict in the workplace at our Knowledge Page.
This is Joyce Weiss, Communications Strategist and Executive Coach
Learn how Joyce Weiss can leverage her 30+ years of communication and leadership consulting and coaching experience to help your organization address conflict resolution in the workplace here.
Until next time, Remember…”You Get What You Tolerate!”