3 Easy Steps to Resolving Conflict

Conflict happensConflict comes at you from all around nowadays: your kids, co-workers, political discussions, everywhere. You just can’t avoid conflict of some sort all day, everyday. Here are some steps that work for me.

  • Listen to the other point of view without interrupting… no matter how wild the other’s stance is. Once they have had their say, you will be less likely to be interruped yourself.
  • Start your side with the statement, “I’m not trying to win you over, but to ensure that you can see my point of view.” That will avoid a defensive comeback or a new attack just for the sake of winning an “arguement.”
  • In the end, try to agree to disagree. No one has to win. We all have to live/work together.

Here is a personal example from last week. Being an editor, we are all quite proud of our writing skills and knowledge. Nothing sends us off the edge faster than elementary grammar mistakes and consistent typos from repeat offenders.

I asked our lead editor to read the meeting minutes I wrote up before I sent them to the group. She marked a quotation punctuation error that she caught. I looked at it and informed her that what was written was correct and that I didn’t make a mistake. [I am as bull-headed as they come. If I am wrong it is up to the other person to prove me wrong. -Ed.] She insisted that it should be the way she marked it. Given that she has 20 years of experience over and above mine, and I love her like a grandma, I told her I’d look up the rule in a published work and show her I was right. A few minutes later, I found it in the MLA handbook online. Upon showing it to her, she agreed that it is correct, but that was not how she was taught. Some rules change, and maybe this was one of them.

She made sure I understood that her marking it as incorrect was wrong, but that her understanding of the rules was not. We agreed.

I left it alone. 🙂

  • http://www.troyworman.com Troy Worman

    Jesse! Love the new layout. Hey! Is that you in that pic???

  • http://www.troyworman.com Troy Worman

    Jesse! Love the new layout. Hey! Is that you in that pic???

  • http://www.perfectlypetersen.com Perfectly Me

    Thanks for approving of the new look, Troy. No, it’s not me, but there sure is a resemblance. It’s one of my typical “need a pic, go to istockphoto.com and get one” situations.

  • http://www.perfectlypetersen.com Perfectly Me

    Thanks for approving of the new look, Troy. No, it’s not me, but there sure is a resemblance. It’s one of my typical “need a pic, go to istockphoto.com and get one” situations.

  • http://www.dipshtick.com David Petersen

    Great advice.
    I also like to remember my place in the relationship. If there is a conflict and if I am a subordinate, ultimately, the decision is my superiors so even if I do disagree, I defer to their position. If I am the superior, I make it clear that I appreciate their position but since I will ultimately be held responsible for the decision, the final decision is mine. If we are contemporaries then I am more apt to agree to disagree unless their argument is persuasive.
    As a good Dane, I try to avoid conflict as much as I can but I can also be bull-headed.
    Best Regards
    David Petersen

  • http://www.dipshtick.com David Petersen

    Great advice.

    I also like to remember my place in the relationship. If there is a conflict and if I am a subordinate, ultimately, the decision is my superiors so even if I do disagree, I defer to their position. If I am the superior, I make it clear that I appreciate their position but since I will ultimately be held responsible for the decision, the final decision is mine. If we are contemporaries then I am more apt to agree to disagree unless their argument is persuasive.

    As a good Dane, I try to avoid conflict as much as I can but I can also be bull-headed.

    Best Regards
    David Petersen

  • http://www.perfectlypetersen.com Perfectly Me

    Thanks for stopping by, David!

    I LOVE your last name! I hope that someday soon, there will be a little David Petersen running around. 🙂

    Great insight in differentiating the conflict between subordinates and peers. I agree whole-heartedly.

  • http://www.perfectlypetersen.com Perfectly Me

    Thanks for stopping by, David!

    I LOVE your last name! I hope that someday soon, there will be a little David Petersen running around. 🙂

    Great insight in differentiating the conflict between subordinates and peers. I agree whole-heartedly.

  • http://www.bestwellnessconsultant.com Mother Earth

    If I can. I’d love to parallel this conversation to parenting – in preparing for teenagers I used to acknowledge heavily the non-conflict conversations. “It’s so great how we appreciate each other and agree” and THEN I’d say “Someday we will not be so agreeable or find we don’t have the same view. When that happens – and it will. I want more than anything for us to remember the love we have for each other.”
    I am in full throttle right now with a young wonderful teenage daughter and have to really remind myself sometimes of the love. Your comment about loving your editor like a grandmother prompted this comment. In a work environment it’s probably prudent to remind ourselves of the gifts and talents we each bring to the table
    Mother Earth
    http://www.bestwellnessconsultant.com

  • http://www.bestwellnessconsultant.com Mother Earth

    If I can. I’d love to parallel this conversation to parenting – in preparing for teenagers I used to acknowledge heavily the non-conflict conversations. “It’s so great how we appreciate each other and agree” and THEN I’d say “Someday we will not be so agreeable or find we don’t have the same view. When that happens – and it will. I want more than anything for us to remember the love we have for each other.”

    I am in full throttle right now with a young wonderful teenage daughter and have to really remind myself sometimes of the love. Your comment about loving your editor like a grandmother prompted this comment. In a work environment it’s probably prudent to remind ourselves of the gifts and talents we each bring to the table

    Mother Earth
    http://www.bestwellnessconsultant.com

  • http://www.perfectlypetersen.com Perfectly Me

    Good advice, Earth Mother. Thanks for stopping by and putting in your two cents.

  • http://www.perfectlypetersen.com Perfectly Me

    Good advice, Earth Mother. Thanks for stopping by and putting in your two cents.

  • http://BookTestOnline.com Elizabeth Grace

    Thanks for the great advice about conflict.
    O.K. listen, do not be defensive, and agree that you disagree. This is great advice for anyone. I will visit again soon.
    Found you from reading – Make It Great Blog – with Phil Gerbyshak.
    Elizabeth G.

  • http://BookTestOnline.com Elizabeth Grace

    Thanks for the great advice about conflict.
    O.K. listen, do not be defensive, and agree that you disagree. This is great advice for anyone. I will visit again soon.
    Found you from reading – Make It Great Blog – with Phil Gerbyshak.
    Elizabeth G.