I believe in continuous improvement and lifelong learning. Recently, I’ve been studying the concept of Positive Intelligence. There is a great book on this concept by Shirzad Chamine. In it, I learned that positive intelligence is centered around the idea that our brain’s mental fitness and health
directly influences our performance, productivity, and personal relationships.
So, when I was asked by Newsweek for my input on healthy conflict management at the workplace I immediately thought about Shirzad Chamine’s 10% rule.
It’s so beautifully simple that it can be applied so broadly. The gist is that the other person is always at least 10% right, and you are always at least 10% wrong. So, a path toward resolving a conflict is to seek out and acknowledge that 10% – on both sides. When you verbalize this, communication lines open, defenses go down, and both parties are better able to move forward in constructive ways.
A few other key things to keep in mind during conflict resolution in the workplace is:
- Listen well. Both parties in a conflict situation need to be given the space to fully express themselves and be listened to well. People listen best when they feel they have been heard. Try to
paraphrase your understanding to show you are listening. You could even ask, “Did I understand that correctly?” Do that before you speak, and you will increase your chances of feeling heard too.
- Remember, two things can be true at the same time. You and the other person may both have valid points and be in the wrong in other ways. Allowing this to be true creates pathways for coming up with
healthy solutions to the problem. Remember the acknowledge and add techniques I have shared in the past. If you missed that one, you can check it out here.
- Consider the context. I think we can all agree that living through a pandemic for the past two years, has left many of us exhausted, burnt out, and anxious. So, make sure you take in that impact, as well
as the other party’s personal context when having these conversations. Speak with compassion, empathy, and patience and you are far more likely to both walk away feeling heard and like the issue is resolved.
Building up positive intelligence and practicing healthy communication can go a long way in resolving workplace (and home place) conflict in a healthy way.
Always open to new ideas on resolving conflict. What works for you?