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Based on these approaches, a starting point for dealing with conflict is to identify the overriding conflict style employed by yourself, your team or your organization.

Over time, people’s conflict management styles tend to mesh, and a “right” way to solve conflict emerges. It’s good to recognize when this style can be used effectively, however make sure that people understand that different styles may suit different situations.

Look at the circumstances, and think about the style that may be appropriate.


Step One

Ensure that everyone understands the conflict, and that it can be better resolved through discussion and not aggression. State your position and perception of the problem, and listen and understand the position and perception of others.


Step Two

Focus on the conflict; leave personal issues out. Be sure to use “I” statements.


Step Three

Ensure that everyone agrees on what the problem is. If there are different concepts of what the problem is, then be sure to understand what others understand the problem to be.


Step Four

Brainstorm openly. If everyone has a say in the solution, then everyone will feel more satisfied in the end.


Step Five

It’s possible that the conflict is resolved by this point, and there is a better understanding between the two (or more) sides.


On the other hand, other differences may have been uncovered, and the best path is to negotiate to find a solution that will, to an extent, satisfy everyone.


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