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August 2009


Converting  Conflict Into  Productivity

In a team environment, where people are working together to accomplish worthwhile goals with scarce resources, conflict is a fact of life.  The challenge is to transform conflict into positive energy that can be used to increase the team's productivity and effectiveness.  It is easier than it sounds.  It simply requires that you focus on what is truly important.

Want to improve your ability to resolve conflict?  Start with these strategies.

Key  Strategies

1. Conflict  Happens  Because Of . . .

Emphasis on differences: differences between individuals, between their goals, and between their action plans for reaching the goals.

2. Conflict  Can  Be  Resolved  By . . .

Moving toward common ground.  Which requires that you leave the strong emotions behind and think before you act or speak.  If you have difficulty removing the emotion from your system then take a "time-out."  Get physically away from the person and the situation where the emotional reaction happened.  Then focus your attention on something unrelated to the conflict. 

Within a few minutes you will realize a calmer mental state.  Only then should you return and try to move toward common ground.

3. Follow  These  Rules

  • Zip your lips !
  • Help the other person feel relaxed. 
  • Eliminate distracting behaviors. 
  • Show that you are interested.
  • Listen with the intent to understand.
  • Keep an open mind.
  • Don’t rush.
  • Control your emotions.
  • Ask reflective questions.

4. Choose  The  Best  Option

  • Avoid the conflict - you both lose.
  • Accommodate - you lose and they win.
  • Compete - they lose and you win.
  • Compromise - each of you loses a little.
  • Collaborate - you both win.  You both accept responsibility for the conflict, and for resolving it.  You become a team, working together to create solutions.  Is there any other valid option besides collaboration? 
Choose any other option and one or both parties lose.  Can you afford to make a fellow team member lose?  Can you afford that kind of thinking in a global economy?  Not likely.



For information concerning
SMBC Incorporated contact:

Lou Carloni
Web Page Updated by:
Shannon Bernadzikowski

© SMBC Incorporated  2007