February 16th, 2009
For the past several weeks we’ve been discussing the different stages of conflict and what to do in each stage. The second (and most critical stage) is “More Significant Challenges.” As we know from previous tips, there are important steps to follow at each stage. For this stage, it is important that you do have a conversation or confrontation about this issue (before it becomes a stage three issue).
This stage of conflict is all about competition. Someone feels the need to win (well, you both do actually) and that winning seems to imply that someone should lose (which doesn’t necessarily need to happen). Control, saving face or reputation is important and participants certainly participate in the CYA approach to conflict – which means a lot of the talking happens on email (don’t use email PLEASE!). This level is hostile, but typically not dangerous (until it starts to progress to level three).
Solutions? Say something. Keep it black and white, focused on one issue and don’t bring others into it. Stay away from sarcasm, public jabs or responses. Make an appointment with your difficult person to see if you can find that middle ground. Be sure to read some of other tips already published on what to do, or (better yet), attend our next teleseminar on Confrontation Skills on April 16th, at 2:00pm EST. Only $99 per dial in line (where can you buy such inexpensive and good training?).