How to Resolve Conflicts Assertively
Be willing to deal professionally with conflict situations even if you feel uncomfortable. Work towards a resolution acceptable to all.
Decide your goal – Give the other person a brief outline of what you want to discuss.
If at all possible, have the conversation face to face. Emails leave a lot of possibility for confusion.
Keep calm – use deep breathing where you breath in for the count of 5 and out for the count of 7. Relax your shoulders. These two steps should keep you in control.
Focus only on the current issue – don’t go throwing in old wounds.
Assume that the other person will co-operate. They may or may not, but if you go in assuming they will not, your approach, tone and body language will be unhelpful (even if you don’t realise it)
Use this format to express your concerns:
- When you… (state the behaviour which you want to discuss)
- I feel… (state your feelings simply)
- Because … (say why you feel this way)
- In future I would like… (state clearly what it is you want)
Stick to the point, always in a constructive way. Think of it as two people trying to resolve a problem together.
Be open to suggestions the other person might make – they may contain something you hadn’t thought of.
At the end of the discussion, summarise agreed actions. Plan a review date if necessary.
Want to know more? You’ll find many ideas in my book How to be Assertive. You’ll find it here – http://amzn.to/1Uu23Ws