Handling confrontation isn’t something most people dream about doing in their business, but the longer you’re an owner, the more likely it is that you’ll strongly disagree with a vendor, employee, client, or competitor.
Avoiding the issue seldom works as a strategy. Second-guessing someone else’s motives also rarely works. And taking the “my way or the highway” approach typically only makes things worse.
Dealing successfully with disagreements can make your business run smoother and your life more peaceful and enjoyable. So, ideally, you want to resolve the situation in as healthy, productive, and effective manner as possible.
How Do You Handle Confrontation for Optimal Outcomes?
- Believe that a mutually satisfying resolution is possible.
Conflicts can and do resolve in ways that benefit all involved parties, especially when understanding is prioritized over a pre-conceived outcome.
- Understand the cause of the disagreement.
Conflicts happen because of differences in expectations, values, perceptions, desires, thoughts, and motivations. What seems minor to one person may be deeply important to another.
The person you’re disagreeing with probably wasn’t trying to disappoint or anger you.
- Understand that a Confrontation Isn’t a Fight
You can have an honest, open, and direct discussion about what all parties need and want without escalating to blame, yelling, or other versions of fighting.
Individuals respond to situations differently. If you understand how the people you communicate with approach life (their values, worldview, reactions to stress, and motivations), it’s easier to communicate peacefully and productively with them.
Take a moment to see things from a different perspective.
- Take a Healthy Approach to Resolution
Healthy responses include:
- Knowing that facing the conflict promptly and directly is best for all involved
- Keeping your reactions calm, respectful, and non-defensive during the confrontation
- Recognizing and responding to the wants and needs of the other party or parties
- Seeking compromise and avoiding punishing
- Having willingness and readiness to move past the conflict without holding a grudge or anger
- Let It Go
Sometimes you won’t reach an agreement that is acceptable. Agree to disagree, disengage, and move on in the most positive manner possible.
If you make conflict resolution a greater priority than winning or being right, focus on the present, work to understand the other person, openly talk about possible outcomes, and move on if needed, you’ll handle confrontation in a manner that builds your business (and personal well-being) instead of harming it.
With the stressful holidays approaching, keep these five conflict resolution tactics at the forefront of your mind for your personal life as well. You’ll be glad you did.