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Communication Culture: Resolving Conflict & Leveraging Feedback—Barrie Byron & Ann Grove

June 20, 2012

It seems they put all of the great pairs first thing each morning. I suppose the conference organizers decided it would take two presenters to have enough energy to wake up a crowd of conference-goers at 8:30 am.

Tuesday morning brought Barrie Byron & Ann Grove, which promised to be a fantastic performance. You know the presenters will be getting into the nitty gritty when they start their presentation with this quote:

“The gem cannot be polished without friction, nor man perfected without trial.” – Confucius

These two made the point that resolving conflict is a process. If we expect to make the necessary connections, we must put aside our assumptions.

There are times when you can choose to be right and make it known that you are right. Or you can choose to be loving.

Make an effort to truly consider the potential root causes for conflict. Are personalities clashing? Is there a misunderstandings about a topic? Are there various leadership styles at work? Sometimes what seems to be the obvious cause is actually a symptom.

Barrie and Ann identified five personality types that can cause conflict: know-it-all, argumentative, people pleaser, narcissist ego-maniac, and self-loather. Are you one of them?

Likewise, there are four leadership styles: authoritarian, democratic, charismatic, & passive. Depending on the leadership styles involved, determine how you will approach each person. Be proactive with updates.

Identify & assess your audience, then choose one a method for resolving the conflict.

6 methods for resolving conflict
  • Ignoring it (should be a choice, not a default)
  • Smooth it over
  • Force the resolution
  • Compromise
  • Collaborate
  • Involve a third party

Have a plan and backup plans to confront conflict. If necessary, hit the pause button to assess situation and plan your approach.

As you resolve the issues that arise, remember this: Friends come and go, but enemies accumulate. You need to have two positive interactions to balance each negative interaction.

I couldn’t pick just one favorite quote from this session, so I will leave you with two:
  1. “I can’t say you’re right, but you are confident.” Best used in a never-ending argument.
  2. “Quit taking it personally.” Or Q-TIP. Not everything is about you. The conflict might not be your fault and you might not be able to bring about resolution.
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