Thus far, we explored the first three markers namely:
• Create a safe, respectful environment conducive to mutual dialogue
• Agree on Goals (The Big Picture)
• Clarify Interests
You’re also aware of the importance of maintaining mutual respect as a precursor for mastering conflict resolution conversations.
Now, it would be terrific if conversations only progressed all the time. Truth is though, that conversations sometimes take a turn for the worse.
Take the lesson below to explore how to salvage such situations using the fourth marker ‘Adopting a You & Me Vs. The Problem attitude’
Just a quick reminder for you to take the accompanying quiz once you’re through with the lesson.
Thus far, we had a look at the importance of maintaining mutual respect as a precursor for mastering conflict resolution conversations. Next, we explored the first two markers namely:
…and how to lead conversations through them too.
Now, it would be terrific if conversations only progressed all the time. Truth is though, that conversations sometimes regress. If that happens, the next marker is exactly what you need to consider.
All conflict resolution must be about a shared search to best meet the goals – the big-picture – identified. It must a joint search to ensure that all parties win; that everyone’ interests are taken care of.
In the video you saw earlier, here’s how Sanjana managed to navigate this marker in her conversation with emotional intelligence.
Right from 06:34 – Sanjana: Now coming back to the process…
Right up to 07:48
Sanjana: Now, simply holding on to our individual positions and not trying to find a collaborative solution will lead us nowhere. So, I recognise that I shouldn’t blindly hold on to my position that vendors should be evaluated every six months. Perhaps, it is prudent for us to bear in mind what our goal is, and that’s helping iBlaze get the best possible deal from vendors. Also, I just want both of us to be equally satisfied with the final outcome. All I’m asking for is that we satisfy both our concerns.
Notice how Dinesh is still on the offensive. And he levels an insinuation too, asking Sanjana if she has an ulterior motive. Sanjana keeps maintaining the atmosphere of mutual respect, and makes clear something very important. That they’re both on the same side.
Adopting a you and me vs. the problem mindset is the antithesis of you vs. me mindset. And adopting this mindset involves suspending our beliefs that our choice is the absolute best and our options the only ones worth considering and that nothing else will do. And it is a tough ask. We have to open our mind to the fact that maybe-just-maybe- there is a different choice out there – one that suits everyone.
The next step is verbalising your commitment, even when the other party is determined to win. It’s a fair bet that the other party is still acting aggressive they are because they feel unsafe. So, we build more safety – by verbalising our commitment to finding mutually satisfying outcomes.
Say something as simple as “It seems we’re still adopting a you vs. me mindset, rather than a you and me vs. the problem mindset. But believe it’s a good thing that we’re working through it. I assure you that I will stay with you in this discussion till we have a solution that we’re both happy with.”
You could even use a contrasting statement again.
“I certainly don’t want to have a winning and losing side here. But I do want to ensure that we don’t drive a wedge in our working relationship. And, most importantly, I want to ensure that the big-picture goal that we have identified is achieved. And I’m with you till we find something that works for both of us.”
We’re now through four of six conversation markers. In this lesson we looked at the significance of Adopting a ‘You & Me Vs. The Problem’ attitude. When conversations go sour, it helps immensely to suspend our beliefs that our choice is the absolute best and verbalise our commitment to the resolution of the conflict at hand or apply a ‘contrasting’ statement to bring everyone on the same page – whatever the situation calls for. It serves as a great equaliser for all parties involved
Only two markers remain, and we’re going to look them over the last two lessons that follow. Please take the accompanying quiz for the moment.