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Five Strategies For Managing Conflict

Conflicts are never pleasant for anyone, but if you are able to manage them properly, the benefits of a well-resolved conflict are enormous. To help the situation, we have highlighted five strategies for managing conflict below that will help you be prepared and spend less time and effort doing so.

Strategies for managing conflict

1. Face the situation gently: 

This technique is based on a direct confrontation of the situation in a diplomatic tone. To know if a conflict has been satisfactorily resolved through this strategy, you must be able to answer the following three questions affirmatively:

  • Has the other person’s behavior changed?
  • Is the self-esteem of the other party intact?
  • Has the relationship been preserved as it was or even improved?

To prepare for a confrontation like this, take the following tips:

  • Stay in control of your emotions and avoid overreacting at all costs.
  • Do not express complaints -Complaining incessantly about someone else’s attitude is useless. You will probably end up dividing the team into two part:


i. Those who support you and;

ii. Those who support the other person.

Also, complaining will damage your  credibility. One of the easiest ways to earn the mistrust and resentment of team members is to complain about someone in front of one of your teammates.

Rehearse what you are going to say in conversation. Make sure you maintain control over your tone of voice, your body, and your facial expressions.

Don’t preach. Few things annoy people more than feeling like they are being spoken to from a position of superiority.

Be willing to listen and do not interrupt your interlocutor. Likewise, there are five elements to conducting an assertive confrontation:

  • Objectively describe the unwanted behavior you want to change.
  • Try not to appeal to subjectivity or personal issues.
  • Identify the negative effects for the team of this behavior in terms of costs, either in time or money.
  • Listen to the other person’s response.
  • Describe your expectations for the future in specific terms. Get the commitment or agreement with the other person.

You can ask them directly if they agree with what has been said or, if not, say “Well, this seems like a reasonable request, doesn’t it?”

2. Disarm the opposition:

Sometimes, the other person may have a legitimate problem with you (for example, that you have broken a rule). If you deny reality and don’t pay attention to this, the other person will get angry and the problem will still be there. By acknowledging that your interlocutor is right, you will be on your way to resolving the situation.

The way to approach this is to surprise the other party, who will expect you to deny what you have against you. Admit it and do not explain more.

This technique is very useful, but do not abuse it, since, if your behavior becomes predictable, you will be losing effectiveness.


3. Manage anger:


Never tell a person not to get angry. Instead, encourage her to tell you what is causing her anger. There are five attitudes that can be adopted when faced with an angry person:

Hear – You may have reasons for your anger. Do not argue, even if that is what the other person is looking for.

Their self-esteem may be on the ground, so you may want to offer them a compliment when possible.

Find out the cause of the anger – Ask open-ended questions, not the kind that can be answered with “Yes/No.”

Show empathy – Use active listening techniques and repeat what the other person is saying from time to time.

Admit mistakes – If you were wrong, don’t hesitate to admit it.

In addition, the following tips will help you prevent excessive reactions from your interlocutor:

When you have to criticize someone, focus on the behaviors you observed, not the person.

Avoid embarrassing or humiliating the other person, especially in front of others. Do not blame him for anything unless it is essential and be 100% sure that you are right.

Promote polite behaviors and use light humor whenever you can.

If you notice that you are about to explode, observe the following recommendations:

  • Take a walk to get away from the problem for a few moments. Sometimes this leads to more constructive thinking.
  • Write an angry letter, but don’t send it. This will get the anger out of your “system” without harming anyone.
  • Write a second letter, more rational and calm. Nor should you send this letter or use what you write in the subsequent dialogue.

4. Appeal to an authoritative third party:

Sometimes a gentle approach to problems does not work. The other person may not want to compromise or find a win-win solution to the conflict.

He may want to use some power to solve it, so in that case, you should do the same. This tactic should only be used when winning is imperative, because it is sure to lead to discomfort.

An example of an appeal to a third party with authority or power is a labor dispute in which you have to go to a union or a judicial authority. This part outside the discussion will impose a solution that, in all probability, will not satisfy either party.


5. Interpret the play of the other party:

How to handle the maneuvers that your interlocutor carries out? One way to do this is to place the other person before your interpretation of what is happening. This tactic consists of making him see that you are aware of the movements that you are observing.

The other person will probably feel somewhat dazed and will try to deny what they are doing. At that point, just repeat the same thing they said in as professional a tone as possible.

If the behavior repeats, go up to the person, look them in the eye, tell them that you know what they are doing, and ask them to stop.

You should be as firm and serious as possible (if necessary, point your finger at him while he is speaking). These types of people feel bad when they notice that someone has caught their game, so you should keep dealing with them in this way until they get tired.