Original post by Shannon Otto
Even in a small association, conflicts can arise. How you deal with conflict says a lot about your personality. Are you a take-charge type or are you more passive-aggressive? Are you comfortable sitting back and letting others take the lead?
No matter how or what a conflict is about — and whether it's occurring between staff members, member-to-member or staff-to-member — there are certain ways so deal with it.
Are competitive? Compromising? Collaborative? Accommodating? Avoiding?
It's important to understand how you deal with conflict so you can be more understanding toward others. You've never going to get your way 100 percent of the time, but always being the one to "cave in" can be a bad thing, too.
You may favor a certain approach (for example, collaboration), but it's crucial to know which approach to use in different situations. Perhaps if you're having a disagreement with a coworker about the best strategy for your annual conference, agree to compromise. If you end up as the mediator between two members, try being more accommodating than avoiding.
Here are some key things to keep in mind during conflict resolution:
- Keep people and problems separate. Just because two people disagree over a professional issue doesn't mean they have to attack each others' characters.
- Maintain good relationships. We spend more time at by Shopping Sidekick">work than anywhere else, so it's important to keep your relationships positive.
- Listen first, talk second. This may be self-explanatory, but I think it's easier said than done.
- Establish the facts before attempting to reach a resolution. Be sure everyone is on the same page regarding the facts and that it's not just a simple misunderstanding.
- Explore the possibility of a third solution. Perhaps there's a solution out there that neither party has thought of.