Conduct conflict talks constructively

5 rules for constructive conflict talks

Rules for conflict talks

  1. Right at the beginning of the conflict talks, adopt the so-called OK attitude: “I am pleased that we are talking about the matter XY.” This sets the goals: a productive result and an improvement in the relationship(s).
  2. Start conflict talks with an inventory: On which points do we agree? Where do we see things differently? Prevent the usual conflict behavior in which the participants criticize, threaten or insist on their rights.
  3. Courageously address feelings: “Mr. X, what did you feel when Ms. Y took up the position as head of department?” This opens up a different (new) perspective for everyone involved.
  4. Question the interests on which the feelings are based: “I would like to take on a managerial position in the company in the medium term.” This allows those affected to distance themselves from the feelings and to bring order to their thoughts.
  5. Discuss as many possible solutions as possible: “… Contribute your specialist knowledge to Committee X… Carry out the next project as project manager…” You approach each other in a forgiving manner and use your energy to achieve factual results.

Practical tips for conflict talks questions

After every discussion that was exclusively or also about conflicts: Which positive changes – private or professional – did at least one of the conflict discussions lead to? This anchors the experience that conflict talks help you to develop further. Before the conflict discussion, put yourself in the role of the interlocutor. What are his motives? How interested is he in sticking with the different points of view? In this way you will find out that your counterpart is probably just as interested in finding a solution in a good and calm atmosphere.

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