Archive for March, 2009


Monday, March 30th, 2009

There are five styles of conflict management.  Each has its own purpose and reason for choosing it.

This week we are going to focus on the “Collaborating” style of conflict management.  This style is high on the “concern for self” scale and also high on the “concern for others” scale.

Collaborating is a win/win style of conflict managment where each side of the issue is willing to “seek an exchange of information and to reach an acceptable solution to everyone.”  Clearly this is the “friendly” style of conflict.

This style is not effective when one party lacks commitment or your time is limited. It works best in “Stage 1” of conflict (see previous messages for definition of different stages

To use this style you are probably dealing with departmental issues, your family and basic problem solving.


Monday, March 23rd, 2009

Are you willing to compromise?  When you are dealing with your difficult person, your back is probably against the wall and you are angry and frustrated.  Are you flexible at all, or have you dug in your heels and become just as difficult (if not more so) than the person you are dealing with?  Is it all your way, or no way?

We must be willing to compromise.  This doesn’t mean you must give in, nor does it mean we must dominate the situation either.  Negotiation, flexibility and compromise is probably what is in order to move your discussion/situation to the next level.

Must you always give in?  No.  But pushing back and dominating will likely make your situation worse, not better.  Be sure to pick your battles and be willing to compromise or even walk away on some situations.


Monday, March 16th, 2009

Take your time. Strategize.  Don’t rush into dealing with your difficult person.  You are probably really great at figuring out what to do at 2:00am (I certainly am!), so take the time to figure out what the “right” answer is rather than the quick answer.

You won’t regret it!

Pick your Battles

Monday, March 9th, 2009

Are you sure you have the energy to “fix” your difficult person?  Most people decide to deal with their difficult person the same way they decide to get in shape – and go way overboard!  Have you ever decided today was the day you were going to get in shape and went out and ran 10 miles?  Or planned to go to the gym seven days this week?  Exactly what we shouldn’t be doing with our difficult person.

Choose one issue you want to deal with, and deal with that one only.  Leave the others on the side for a while.  Don’t try to attack everything about them – there are consequences.

And remember, you still have to deal with them the next day.  To remind you of that important message, read a past article about “After the Confrontation” here


Monday, March 2nd, 2009

When dealing with your difficult person, or in the middle of a confrontation, always give the other person your 100% focus… even if you are on the telephone or the other cannot see you. 

Avoid looking at your watch or notes, avoid responding to email or smiling/waving at anyone else walking by.  Often the reason we distract ourselves is to detach from the situation or emotion of the moment.  Keep your focus.  Whenever you switch your focus you are telling your difficult person that you are also difficult and are unintentionally (or intentionally?) pushing their buttons even more.

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