Rule 7b of Eight Simple Rules to Managing Conflict

Rule 7b of Eight Simple Rules to Managing Conflict

As I have mentioned before in this series (The Eight Simple Rules to Managing Conflict), the biggest key to effectively resolving conflict is preparation. When we have time to prepare we do much better in resolving conflict than when it is thrust upon us and all we can do is react. When I mediate conflicts, I include a preparation and coaching phase with both parties individually before I ever bring them together. This added phase is critical to a successful mediation, resulting in both parties being prepared, goal-focused, and ready for resolution.

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Rule 6 of Eight Simple Rules to Managing Conflict

Rule 6 of Eight Simple Rules to Managing Conflict

I had a love-hate relationship with my old boss. The love part was my incredible respect for this former Olympic gold medalist turned CEO of one of the leading professional development companies in the world. He was one of those people who could make an audience laugh, cry, and get inspired—all at the same time. People always came up to me after one of Terry’s amazing speeches to say how lucky I was to work for this man. I’d smile and say, “I sure am”, knowing I was lying through my teeth. In hindsight it was awfully ironic. Here we were, a company best known for our leadership development programs and materials, and yet we didn’t practice a lick of it within our own company. We were a walking contradiction. Do as we say…not as we do!

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Rule 5 of Eight Simple Rules to Managing Conflict

Rule 5 of Eight Simple Rules to Managing Conflict

“I need a volunteer…Greg?” Wow, that was more like telling than asking, I thought. “Sure Ron, I’d be glad to volunteer."

Ron asked me to stand in front of the group as he approached. I knew he picked me for a reason but wasn’t quite sure why…that is until his hands hit my chest with such force that I stumbled back a couple of steps.

“What are you doing?” I yelled, trying to regain my composure.

“What do you think?” he said, as he wound up again for a second attack.

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Rule 4 of Eight Simple Rules to Managing Conflict

Rule 4 of Eight Simple Rules to Managing Conflict

…In the event of a loss of cabin pressure, an oxygen mask will drop from above. Tighten the mask by pulling on the straps like this. If you are traveling with a child, place your mask on first before assisting them...

Whenever I hear that part of the flight attendant’s pre-flight spiel, I always smile. I smile because my gut instinct would be to place the mask on a child first—had I not repetitively heard that directive. But I get the idea—save yourself so you can save others!

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Rule 3 of Eight Simple Rules to Managing Conflict

Rule 3 of Eight Simple Rules to Managing Conflict

A colleague of mine said it best: We have a bow and a quiver with five arrows at our disposal at any given time. Each arrow represents one of the five conflict styles. When in a conflict, we need to keep our eye on the bull’s-eye (the desired outcome) and choose the arrow which will get us there most accurately. If we don’t choose an arrow, our default arrow becomes our arrow of choice. The problem is that our default arrow has more to do with familiarity and self-protection than conflict resolution. More often than not, it isn’t our best choice.

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