Conflict Resolution (without bloodshed)

Wes Bucey

Prophet of Profit
iI've written posts on this theme in the past.

This is a high level aerial view of a tiny portion of weekend-long intensive management seminar I present about once a year under various titles. The entire theme (as you may have guessed) is "Business success with Profound Knowledge."

This tiny portion is about conflicts - recognizing causes, reducing opportunities, ameliorating personal and corporate damage.

While seminar attendees get the ground-level, up close and personal touch with the opportunity to ask unlimited questions and role play with me and each other, your free version won't be quite so detailed.

Conflict Causes: almost all conflicts arise because one or both conflicting parties don't employ FMEA (Failure Mode & Effects Analysis) with sufficient knowledge of the logical consequences of a course of action. Simply, it means they enter the discussion with insufficient research and thus insufficient knowledge to make logical and efficient decisions. In plain terms, the guy shooting from the hip is often firing blanks.

Conflicts escalate: because one or more parties lose control of their emotions, and bring personalities into the discussion. Some folks are practiced bullies, pushing their victims into a flight or fight response. One technique to maintain self control when someone is trying to push your buttons is what I call "eye in the sky." Picture yourself as a spy camera looking down at the participants, removed from the fray. That way you can view the proceedings of them [and yourself] dispassionately. MY spy eye sees me when my temperature starts to rise and I think to myself, "Old Wes is getting a little hot under the collar; time to call a 'bio break' and get away from the action to cool down." During that cool down, of course, I examine my strategy versus the others and revise or amend my tactics based on that appraisal away from the pressure of raised voices and bloated egos.

Henry Ford had the perfect truism for folks going into meetings to negotiate for their point of view: "If you think you can do a thing or if you think you can't do a thing, you're right." The corollary Ford never mentions, of course, is that you need to plan HOW you are going to do that thing or the truism won't work.

Are you having conflicts with bosses, coworkers, or underlings? How about with customers or suppliers? Let's discuss YOUR situation and see if we can resolve it without shedding your blood.
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