Ensuring Win-Win in Conflict Situations At Work

Dealing with conflict situations is not an easy option for most people at work. They tend to lean toward the extremes, rather than the solution, that is, they either become aggressive, passive-aggressive or submissive.

None of these behavioural traits are the most effective way of dealing with a conflict or disagreement at work.

One area that seems to raise its head in these situations is the need to hold on to some sort of power. To share power does not mean to give up power. You can liken it to sharing the light of a candle. When you light another person’s candle, your light doesn’t go out. You have more light for everyone. This enlightened approach to resolving conflict involves respect.

Respect is about recognising others as being different from you, not better or worse. The other person may well have a different set of values, beliefs and principles to you, and if you recognise that the other has different needs, you will appreciate the differences, rather than the things that are inherently ‘wrong’ or ‘bad’.

Thinking ‘win-win’ in this scenario will help achieve a resolution rather than an escalation.

Here are some ways to head towards this mutually-agreeable solution…

  1. Focus on the needs, concerns and feelings for both of you
  2. Have respect for each of those needs
  3. See the issue as a mutual problem to be solved, not won
  4. Be prepared to listen and shift perspectives
  5. Don’t concentrate on winning at all costs
  6. Aim for power with the other, not power over the other

If you appear to be against the other person and simply trying to win yourself, the other will become naturally defensive. Being open, receptive and willing to co-operate will lead to collaboration.

Try to create an atmosphere where everyone can be seen to be ‘gaining’ from the solution. It may be that you won’t get what you want until others see that they get what they want.

Looking for more help with managing conflict at work? Try this article:

Many thanks

Mark Williams

Head of Training

(Image by David Castillo Dominici)

http://www.mtdtraining.com

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Mark-WilliamsMark Williams

Mark Williams is a learning and development professional, using business psychology and multiple intelligences to create fascinating and quickly-identifiable learning initiatives in the real-world business setting. Mark’s role at MTD is to ensure that our training is leading edge, and works closely with our trainers to develop the best learning experiences for all people on learning programmes. Mark designs and delivers training programmes for businesses both small and large and strives to ensure that MTD’s clients are receiving the very best training, support and services that will really make a difference to their business.