Click here to Listen to “Negotiation Secrets Resolve Conflicts”—
What skills do you employ when trying to resolve conflicts? The answer should be, the same skills you use when negotiating.
Conflict resolution is a subset of negotiation and thus, the better you are at negotiating, the better you’ll be at resolving conflicts. The information that follows gives insight into how you can enhance your negotiation and conflict resolution efforts.
- In any negotiation, when attempting to resolve conflicts, really understand the other person’s perspective and assess the basis for the conflict.
- Consider the source of the other person’s motivation that stimulates his beliefs, thoughts, and desires for the outcome he’s striving to achieve. Seek to understand his perspective at an intellectual and emotional level. Ask open-ended questions (i.e. questions that require more than a yes or no response) to solicit insight as to why he holds such beliefs to be valid.
- Ascertain who and/or what the source of his beliefs, thoughts, and desires are that’s generating the outcome he seeks. If you determine that there’s a vast conflict between the position you hold and his, cite sources from references that he believes to be credible, in an attempt to sway his viewpoint.
- Prior to responding with a rebuttal, be sure you understand the gist of the other person’s position. Let him talk. The more he talks, the greater the opportunity to glean additional insight and information about his mindset.
- Watch rhetoric, yours and the other individual. Words have meanings and some words may convey thoughts that are different from the intent you meant. Be sure to use words that the other person understands and applies in the same manner as you intended for him to perceive.
- If you are slow to respond to questions, you give the impression that you’re reflective. Answer a question too quickly and you could give the impression that you’re being flippant. Strike a balance between the two modes, based on the situation at hand.
Use of language:
- Once you understand the other negotiator’s perspective, assess the viability of his beliefs, based on the verbiage he uses. Some words, such as, “I believe” versus “I know” or “I’m sure of”, conveys the degree to which he believes his thoughts to be accurate. In observing the manner in which he uses words, you’ll be able to peer into his beliefs and begin to determine the level of commitment he has for the outcome he seeks.
- If you cannot oblige the outcome the other person seeks, explain in language that he can understand (use words he uses) why you can’t oblige him.
- Avoid using inflammatory language. An ill word cast at an inappropriate time, will deflate the conversation and most likely, create a more negative environment.
Tone and pace of voice:
- Align the tone and pace of your voice to the situation and strategy you’ve adopted. If the situation calls for a display of empathy, display it. If on the other hand, it’s more appropriate to allow the timbre of your voice to convey a more steadfast position, display that demeanor. Unless it’s part of your strategy, don’t be backed into a position you can’t, or don’t want to defend.
- Keep in mind, a good thought/plan delivered with the appropriate demeanor can soften rejection, or enhance acceptance.
- Try not to interrupt the other person when he’s speaking. Take note of how long he delivers his position and be aware of when he starts to repeat himself. Regardless of whether the other person starts to pontificate, don’t over talk him.
Just because you silence a man doesn’t mean you’ve converted him. In order to gain benefits from the resolution of a conflict, you must delve deep enough into the psychological mind of the other individual to emotionally and intellectually understand his perspective. You must know what holds sway with him; in order to do so, you have to experience his reality. Once you’re able to comprehend his perspective, you’ll be prepared to offer a solution to his situation. If the intersection between what you’re capable of delivering and what he needs intersects, success will lie at that junction … and everything will be right with the world. Remember, you’re always negotiating.
The Negotiation Tips Are …
- A conflict is nothing more than disparate positions. Never become mentally burdened as the result of a conflict. Understand the source of it before attempting to address it.
- In our everyday lives, we participate in conflict resolutions. If you take note and utilize some of the same tactics and strategies you employ in your negotiations, you’ll enhance your ability to resolve conflicts.
- Resolve in your mind that you’ll reduce tension in your personal and business life, by enhancing your communications with those you encounter. Become more adept at conflict resolution.