When coaching executives, sooner or later we will deal with managing conflict. No workplace (and no home) is free from conflict. Managing conflicts effectively is a key leadership skill.
I often start with the underlying needs of the conflict:
- Below the surface, what do you really want?
- What does the other person need?
- Do you just want to be right ,or are you open to other perspectives?
The Harvard Business Article below gives some great advice on having difficult conversations. E.g. how genuine respect, vulnerability, and a desire to learn is a fantastic start to resolve conflicts.
Begin from a place of curiosity and respect, and stop worrying about being liked. Conflict avoiders are often worried about their likability. While it’s natural to want to be liked, that’s not always the most important thing. Lean into the conversation with an open attitude and a genuine desire to learn. Start from a place of curiosity and respect — for both yourself and the other person. Genuine respect and vulnerability typically produce more of the same: mutual respect and shared vulnerability. Even when the subject matter is difficult, conversations can remain mutually supportive. Respect the other person’s point of view, and expect them to respect yours.