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Like Dealing With Conflict? Don't Read This.

Very few people like to deal with conflict. As a leader, it is your job to tackle sticky issues before they escalate and get out of hand.

A client had two grown men in sales shouting at each other in the middle of the office over who was getting commission on a sale. She told them to “quit acting like teenagers and to shut up and do their job.” Yes, you may feel like doing that, or even do it, but it won’t solve a thing.

So change your mindset immediately, from “Ugh, I have to deal with these teens” to “I can facilitate the discussion and help them come up with a solution.” That puts you in the position of a facilitator, a coach, and a good leader.

  • Get the stakeholders in a room together (or over the phone or video, if remote) do not handle via email.

  • State the problem from your point of view.

  • Get clarity from both people on how they see the issue.

  • Help them brainstorm solutions to the problem. Remember, you are not there to solve the problem; you are the facilitator.

  • Restate the agreed upon solution.

  • Set a date and time in the near future to check back with both of them to see if things have changed. If things have changed, praise them both specifically for their part in the solution. If things have not changed, start brainstorming solutions again.

Not dealing with conflict is very costly in terms of energy, time, and productivity. It impacts more than those directly involved; it affects your entire team...negatively. Once you use this strategy, dealing with these issues will get easier. It takes practice,practice, practice.

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