No one likes to hear about conflict let alone deal with it. But the fact is that you cannot escape conflict and even out best efforts at times are not enough to keep conflict at arm's length. So rather than shy away from conflict, we should learn about it and try and determine the most effective methods of dealing with it.
While conflicts are usually in the form of arguments, that is just one type of conflict. Other forms of conflict are attitudes we have for others or others have for us that can keep us from accomplishing our goals or achieving our objectives. Conflicts can also occur when you have people on the exact opposite sides of a thought or ideal. When neither person is willing to resolutions" or anything like that. But when they are unwilling to move on their position or negotiate a compromise, conflict can, and usually will, be the result.
We deal with conflict every single day whether it be with a waitress over an under or over cooked meal or with your spouse over something that did or didn't happen over the course of the day. How we approach these issues and situations can also determine how ultimately successful or unsuccessful we might be when the dust settles.
While it is impossible to give you a "one size fits all" approach for dealing with conflict I would like to share certain approaches or strategies that can help you have a better chance of getting more of what you want at the end of the process. These are not "magic resolutions" that will trick others into giving you what you want. But they will help you lower tension, calm the situation down, and help you get to common ground far easier and faster than you might think positive.
First and foremost, we have to understand that many times being proven right is not nearly as important and getting the outcome that we need or want. While it is nice to be told that you are right it is far better to get the outcome you want instead. But you would be surprised how many people fight to the death to prove themselves right whether they get the desired outcome or not. So concentrate on the outcome and not proving yourself right. "Right fighters" rarely come out on top or with the best possible outcome.
Second, when you are confronted with a situation where one person is right and another is wrong it is much better to allow the other party to save face in the conflict. By this I mean it usually works well to allow the other party a "way out" of the situation without telling them they are wrong and making them admit it. People do not like to be backed into a corner and many people when they are placed in that position will come out fighting and make the situation far more strained and tense than it already was. By giving people a way out, you can resolve the situation, get what you want and not make the other person admit their guilt.
Third, it might surprise you to know that most conflict is not a win-lose situation. If you have to make one party feel like they lost you might have a harder time getting what you want out of a situation. But if you can arrive at a resolution where the other party gets some of what they want while you get what you want, then everyone wins and everyone goes home happy. This "win-win" outcome should be your objective whenever and wherever conflict comes about.
These are just a few high level suggestions on how to deal with conflict. If you have an interest in improving your conflict resolution skill sets then I suggest you read my book on Conflict Resolution. It contains a wealth of information that will help you identify conflict and resolve it faster and easier while still maintaining the relationships that are important to you.
Remember, these skills will serve you well not only in your business or career but in your relationships and personal lives as well. Because of this these are important skills that you should take the time to learn and refine.