Resolving Conflict: Pistols at Dawn

Pistols at Dawn…

Conflict is inevitable in the workplace.  The challenge is not to avoid it but to resolve it quickly.  In today’s world and workplace, we are all looking for something that offends us. We will always find it.   The challenge is that when we are offended, we focus on being right and not coming to a resolution. 

A conflict that turns to an outright confrontation where there must be a “winner” resolves nothing. It does create resentment for the perceived loser and possibly a sense of superiority for the perceived winner. If you’re scheduling something for dawn, the entire organization is losing!

So how do we resolve conflict quickly?  We must commit to going to the other person for a conversation as soon as we can.  A cooling period of 24 hours is recommended.  In that time, you should ask yourself three questions

  1. What is the issue I have? 
  2. How can I communicate this to the other person in a productive way?
  3. What am I willing to give to get what I want?

Many conflicts can be handled in this way if the issue is solved quickly. It is always worth the effort. If it cannot be resolved promptly, then consider having a mediator.    The team also recommended discussing and agreeing on the conflict resolution process, so everyone understands the rules.   

Excellent work teams are committed to handling conflicts quickly and resolving them in a manner that everyone wins!