How To Resolve Conflict: 5 Simple Tips

I just got off the phone with one of my clients. At one point she said: “I know I should confront her and express my concerns, but I just don’t like conflict.”

She is not alone. In fact, she has got lots of company.

Generally speaking, we women don’t like conflict. We imagine a war zone just thinking about it. And that, of course, is in conflict with our caring nature.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. When managed effectively, conflict can help you to:

•    Improve your relationships
•    Grow your business
•    Grow personally and professionally.
It has got tremendous power to move both you and the person (or people) on the other side of the conflict forward.

With that in mind, here are just a few tips for resolving conflict effectively, and turning  "conflict resolution" into a "meaningful conversation":

1. Don’t avoid it.

Problems will not disappear by ignoring them. Most of the time, they will get worse.

Accept that conflict is part of a package called “business”. As a business professional, it is your responsibility to address it.

After all, it’s much better to voice your concerns and find resolution, rather than keeping it in and suffering for it!

2. Don’t think “winning”. Think “constructive resolution” instead.

You can’t “win” a conflict. It’s not a war, nor a football match. It’s not about getting what you want, regardless of the other person's needs.

Find out what the other person wants. Identify a ‘win-win’ outcome for both of you and work towards that. Offer your ideas and invite their feedback. Agree on specific actions that you can implement straight away.

3. Separate the problem from the person.

See the situation as something you can both address together. Allow the other person to work with you (not against you, not for you).

And if you want to stretch yourself (I suggest you do) appreciate them for it. Say things like “I appreciate your help in resolving this.”

4. Be curious.

Let the other person express their point of view fully. Ask lots of probing questions, such as “Can you tell me more about it? What makes you feel that way? What’s important to you about that?" etc. Being heard can make lots of difference!

5. Take responsibility.

Let’s face it. You had some part in creating a situation ready for a conflict resolution. Even if you didn’t mean to, you had some part in it.

Take responsibility and should you like to stretch yourself (and resolve the conflict more effectively), apologise.

Remember, by apologising you are not taking blame for the whole situation, you are simply taking responsibility for your part in it.

...I'm off. Time to have a meaningful conversation with my husband. :)

Over to you – Are you confident in dealing with conflict? Or are you avoiding it? Do you have any tips for resolving conflict effectively?

To your advantage,


Article by Advantage Woman

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