Using respect to work through conflict on your team

MANAGE HEALTHY CONFLICT WITH RESPECTMany people believe that conflict is unhealthy but, in reality, the opposite is true. The main secret is that the conflict must be directed towards the issues and not at individuals or their personalities.

When conflict gets to the point of needing resolution, I use the acronym RESPECT to manage healthy conflict.

Review the situation – Gain clarity of the problem or issue by reviewing the situation with the participation of everyone involved.

Explore all possible solutions – Once again, everyone needs to be involved. Treat this step like a brainstorming session, meaning that all ideas are on the table and no criticizing is allowed.

Solve the problem – Here is where all parties agree on a solution.

Prepare a follow up plan – A problem isn’t solved just because the problem is solved on paper. You will need a follow up plan to ensure its success.

Expect cooperation – Now, this is where the bonding comes in. By telling each person what is expected of him/her and gaining commitment, you are getting a buy-in towards a more powerful, and lasting, solution.

Confirm agreement – Get everyone to sign an agreement that they will abide by the solution. After all, our forefathers did just that with the Declaration of Independence.

Track progress – Just because you have a solution and an agreement does not mean it will succeed. Tracking the progress of a proposed solution increases the likelihood that it will succeed and that significant negative conflict will be avoided.

While this process will not work in every conflict situation, the process works tremendously well in team-based conflict situations where productivity and results are the ultimate goal.

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