Ways to Prevent a Conflict from Escalating

“Conflict is going to happen whether you want it or not. People will be butt heads. Sometimes when you least expect it.”

~ Jimmy Bise Jr.

Ways to Prevent a Conflict from Escalating

By David Cottrell

  1. Get all the facts and clearly identify the problem.
  2. Encourage people to challenge the status quo often so that alternatives are continually being evaluated.
  3. When others explain their intention and viewpoints, summarize and paraphrase to confirm understanding.
  4. Look for common ground in any difficult situation.
  5. When possible, resolve one issue at a time.
  6. Deal with the molehills before they become mountains!
  7. Only send and respond to e-mails that are informational in nature. If there is any hint of disagreement, meet in person or pick up the phone.
  8. Watch and listen for inconsistencies between people’s words and their nonverbal behaviors and encourage them to voice their concerns (Cottrell, p. 80).

From:  Cottrell, D. (2009).  Monday morning motivation: five steps to energize your team, customers, and profits.  New York: HarperCollins Publishers.

Reprinted with permission from the OSU Leadership Center, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, (614) 292-3114, http://leadershipcenter.osu.edu/

Coaching Call To Action

Are you a conflict inciter or smoother?  What is the value of your position to yourself and those around you?  What would add even more value?  Who in your company will you share your thoughts with this week?