If you work in a team in which the tasks are distributed in such a way that everyone builds on each other, then you should be able to resolve conflicts! Especially if you can’t work with some colleagues at all.
In such conflict situations, however, many decide to swallow their frustration. But that cannot be the solution. Confrontations and disputes are part of everyday work: we will show you how to master them confidently and how conflict resolution will no longer put you to the test.
Table of Contents
What Conflicts Do To Us
Conflicts have a major impact on our actions. Therefore, you should first understand what they are doing to us in the first place.
Confrontations change our will. So it often happens that you only want to assert your interests and completely ignore the other side. However, conflicts also change our emotional life. In conflict situations, you constantly oscillate between rejection and understanding until a mostly negative feeling sets in, from which you find it difficult to free yourself. Our perception is clouded by these two changes. In the event of a conflict, our view of things becomes narrower and more one-sided. Thinking and decision-making options are also distorted.
With such chaos in us, it is difficult to deal with conflicts properly. Therefore, some time should always pass before a clarifying conversation so that the problems can be viewed with a cool head.
There Are Conflicts
In order to be able to solve conflicts, one must first understand what conflicts actually are. Because conflict is not the same as conflict! There are different conflict parties, which is why conflicts have to be solved differently.
Sometimes we meet people we just can’t stand. We don’t like them, even if we can’t always justify this aversion. Once this basic attitude is there, it can quickly happen that conflicts arise.
During communication, there can always be a conflict between the sender and receiver. What is said is received differently and interpreted negatively. Non-verbal communication (mimicry, gestures) can clear up misunderstandings but also reinforce them. Especially in times of virtual work, communication conflicts can arise quickly because communication is distorted.
Everyone takes on different roles, depending on the environment in which they find themselves. Different expectations are linked to these roles, but these do not necessarily have to correspond to one’s own expectations. Because of this, there can be a role conflict.
Especially in the working world, where there are hierarchies, power conflicts can arise. For example, when two departments are merged and both department heads cannot reach an agreement.
Resolve Conflicts In 7 Steps
1. Arrange An Appointment
Talk to your conflict partner and ask for a face-to-face meeting. Do not attack the colleague – especially not in front of other colleagues – but set a date together where you can talk about the problem in peace.
2. Prepare For The Conversation
Prepare for the interview by answering the following questions in advance :
What is this conflict about?
What are the causes?
Who is involved in this conflict so far?
How has this gone so far?
What part do you have in maintaining or even intensifying the conflict?
What do you want to address and what goals are you pursuing with the conversation?
3. Share Perception
Stay constructive and avoid the personal level. It is best if you speak in “I-messages” and communicate your own perception to the other person.
4. Check Situation
During the conversation you should keep checking your own interpretations. Are these objective? Or is your thinking distorted?
5. Share Feelings
Make it clear to the other person how you feel and what the situation is doing to you:
“I feel inferior and stressed. It also reduces my motivation.”
6. Show Intentions
At the end of the conversation, explain your intention:
“My intention is to optimize our cooperation.”
7. Propose Solutions
After you have made your intentions clear, you should outline the next course of action. Make it clear what the clarification should change and make concrete suggestions. Spongy formulations do not help!
How To Avoid A Conflict
You can take preventative measures to prevent annoying conflict situations from arising in the first place. Our expert Antje Barmeyer will tell you how you can positively influence discussions simply by adjusting your wording.