“Every conflict we face in life is rich with positive and negative potential. It can be a source of inspiration, enlightenment, learning, transformation, and growth-or rage, fear, shame, entrapment, and resistance. The choice is not up to our opponents, but to us, and our willingness to face and work through them. ”
- Kenneth Cloke
Unaddressed conflict can quickly spread, to damage relationships, lower productivity and morale.
1. Set ground rules. Ask all parties to treat each other with respect and to listen and understand others’ views.
2. Ask each participant to describe the conflict, including desired changes. Direct participants to use “I” statements, not “you” statements. They should focus on specific behaviors and problems rather than people.
3. Summarize the conflict based on what you have heard and obtain agreement from participants.
4. Brainstorm solutions.
5. Gain agreement on next steps.