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Conflict Resolution Response

Brian Marvin - Friday, March 08, 2013

I know as I write this that I am late in my response to Morgan’s excellent post on conflict resolution. She relates what happens in the workplace to life at home and I do the same thing. Since I first started managing teams, I have drawn on my experiences outside of work. This isn’t a stretch and there are so many correlations, with the exception that you can’t fire your family!


Morgan has learned so much in her short time as a college student and a working adult and it makes me proud to be a part of her life. If you know our story you know I never had kids of my own, but now I have 3 incredible step kids and Morgan even calls me her bonus mom. Okay, let’s get to the meat of the blog post. “Stop touching me!” “ But you touched me first!” Does that sound familiar? This is just one conflict that we all might have experienced at home. We shouldn’t just deal with conflict we should exploit it. If we all just went along for the ride, the innovation process and performance improvements would never be as good as they could be. Healthy conflict increases performance in organizations. The key is in knowing how to make the most of it. First you need to understand WHOM you are having the conflict with before you get too worked up. First ask yourself, is this person unusually quiet and reserved, or are they outgoing and outspoken? Then ask if they are more focused on feelings or logic and facts. Once you know that, modify your approach to that person’s preferred communication style. I suggest you understand what they are all about or find out what his or her DiSC Style is, because it always helps to know what motivates others. Don’t know their style? Then ask them “what motivates you”. Morgan and I have only shared the last 6 plus years together. We have had our share of conflict and we both RESPECT EACH OTHER, we LISTEN to each other and sometimes we AGREE TO DISAGREE. In the end conflict doesn’t always work out the way you want, that’s life. The key here is to think win/win and not win/lose. I recently facilitated a training program on communication and influence and I added an exercise called “Win as much as YOU can”. It is an excellent lesson in understanding the other side before digging your heals in the ground. If you are interested in receiving it,comment on and “Like” our Facebook page or send us an email. What comes to your mind when you think of conflict? For many supervisors, it is giving someone constructive feedback or sitting down with an employee and counseling them on a performance or behavior issue. Here is an easy 6-step process to handle those tough conversations. 1.Tell them why you are giving the feedback 2.Describe what you observed 3.Let them know your reaction 4.Give them time to respond 5.Offer suggestions for improvement 6.Show your support and clarify next steps Morgan will be posting her next blog on what she learned at the Council of Hotel and Restaurant Trainer’s Conference in San Diego. She was the only student there and walked away with many career and management lessons that will last a lifetime. Morgan – take it away! Joleen Goronkin In response to A Student’s Perspective on Conflict Resolution

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