Unfortunately, conflict happens everywhere – between friends, in the workplace, around the meeting table. The good news is that it doesn’t need to damage relationships or business deals.

Take Deutsche Lufthansa AG Chief Executive Officer Carsten Spohr who has been facing a series of strike action by staff, the most recent being on that began last Friday and which led to the cancellation of almost 3,800 flights and disrupted travel for more than 400,000 passengers. Worse still, a legal ruling delivered in the early hours of Wednesday, has meant that the Union may extend the strike action for the rest of this week, and beyond.

Knowing how to resolve conflict, whenever it happens, creates confidence and eases stress. Conflict resolution in the business world can mean the difference between good business and no business.

These 5 Top Tips highlight the key steps for resolving conflict:-

1.Be prepared

Care enough about your own well-being, your relationships with co-workers and your company, to talk about what is bothering you about conflict. Don’t take it home or store it away. Ignoring something doesn’t make it go away.

Start preparing to resolve conflict by checking your own behaviour. What are your hot buttons? Have they been pushed? How have you handled the situation so far? What is your own responsibility in the matter?

Own up. Take responsibility for your part in the conflict. Do a little soul searching, a little self-examination, before talking it out with the other party. Then plan what you want to say.

2.Don’t wait

The sooner you resolve conflict, the easier it is to resolve. Don’t wait and allow the matter to boil into something bigger than it is.

If a specific behaviour has caused the conflict, promptness gives you an example to refer to and keeps you from building up hostility.

It also gives the other person the best chance of understanding the specific behaviour you want to discuss.

3.Identify the problem

Give specific details, including your own observations, valid documentation if appropriate, and information from reliable witnesses, if appropriate.

You’ve shared your own feelings about the situation, described the problem, and expressed interest in resolving the matter. Now simply ask the other party how he or she is feeling about it. Don’t assume. Ask. Discuss what caused the situation.

Does everyone have the information they need?

Does everyone understand the expectations?

What are the obstacles?

Does everyone on the desired outcome?

If necessary, use a problem analysis tool or a can-can’t/will-won’t performance analysis.

4.Find a solution together

Ask the other party for his or her ideas for solving the problem. The person is responsible for his or her own behaviour and has the ability to change it. Resolving conflict is not about changing the other person. Change is up to each individual.

Know how you want the situation to be different in the future. If you have ideas the other person doesn’t mention, suggest them only after the person has shared all of their ideas.

Discuss each one:

What’s involved?

Does the person need your help?

Does the idea involve other people who should be consulted?

Using the other person’s ideas first, especially with direct reports, will increase personal commitment on his or her part. If any ideas can’t be used for some reason, explain why.

5.Express confidence

Thank the other person for being open with you and express confidence that your work relationship will be better for having now talked the problem out.

Do you want to learn how to recognise and handle conflict with others? For more information, please click here to join the Creativedge Handling Conflict Virtual Training Course on Wednesday, November 25, 2015 – 17:30:00 PM BST – 19:00:00 PM BST

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