When it comes to conflict resolution, some negotiators enter into such activities with neither thought nor plan for the manner by which they’ll engage the other negotiator. In so doing, they place themselves in a less favorable position than if they’d thought through the process.
Whether you’re in a business or personal environment, you’re always negotiating. As such, there will be times when you’ll have to engage in conflict resolution. In so doing, consider the following:
1) Before you become upset by your perception of a situation that you view as requiring conflict resolution, check your perspective and seek to understand the other person’s point of view. Be sure you understand the cause of that person’s discomfort from an intellectual standpoint and if possible, assimilate that person’s emotional state of mind into your own mindset.
2) Observe the body language of the person with whom you think you may have a disagreement. Determine if what you see matches what you hear.
a.) Watch the eyes. The eyes may hold ‘in-sight’ to the resolution.
The eyes can give insight into the real thoughts that are occurring in someone’s mind. Typically, if you ask someone a question and they look up and to the left, they’re attempting to recall a past experience. If they look up and to the right, they’re being creative with their response (making something up). Therefore, if someone looks up and to the right, when thinking about a past experience, you should become attuned to the fact that their discomfort may not relate to the situation at hand. It may be complicated by additional circumstances that are not applicable in the current situation.
b.) In a conflict resolution, the feet can keep you from defeat.
When addressing someone in person, observe the positioning of his or her feet. While they’re totally engaged with you, they’ll tend to have their feet pointed towards you. When they are in the process of disengaging, they’ll point one foot, or both feet, away from you.
c.) Speech patterns, in person, over the phone, and via e-mail give a glimpse into the mind.
When attempting to resolve conflicts, note the pace at which a person speaks. In particular, take note in the change of their pace and at what point the change occurs. In so doing, if you’re astute, you can discern the sources of motivation that stimulates someone to take a particular action. Alter the pace and you alter their perspective.
3) Make sure you listen to the fact that sometimes, people just want to know that they’re being heard. If you encounter such a situation, to the degree you can, let the other person speak. Be a patient listener and don’t interrupt them.
4) Listen for the emotional level of the conflict for the degree of stress that’s involved. Assess whether someone is using misplaced aggression from another situation and projecting it into the situation with you. In essence, assess what the real source of a conflict is before addressing it.
Conflict resolution can be difficult, in any aspect of your life. The better skilled you are and prepared to address conflicts, the more capable you’ll become at finding the appropriate solution in the appropriate situation … and everything will be right with the world. Remember, you’re always negotiating.
“Never fear to engage in conflict resolution and when possible, never engage in conflict resolution out of fear.” – Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator
The Negotiation Tips Are …
- In every aspect of your life, you negotiate. So, the better you become at conflict resolution, the better you’ll become at negotiating.
- When negotiating, you give others insight into your demeanor. Therefore, always be aware of the demeanor you display.
- Conflict resolution can be unpleasant. It’s something that you may not like to do, but it can relieve tension and pressure from an otherwise irritating situation.