Getting Past Conflict Avoidance

Getting Past Conflict Avoidance

Key Strategies for You

  1. Above all, depersonalize it. “It’s not about me. It’s about work.”
  2. Itemize your assumptions in advance. Be willing to examine and change them.
  3. Keep matters in perspective: is this life- or job-threatening?
  4. Discharge emotions from both sides from the very the beginning.
  5. Approach with an attitude of asking, not telling.
  6. Think of the other person as a partner, not an adversary.
  7. Be aware of underlying emotional concerns and how they shift during the conversation.

Steps to Take

  1. Review all relevant Simpli5 resources in advance.
  2. Pick a good time to resolve ISSUES. Atmospherics must be right. (Consider setting, mood, where the other person just came from, etc.)
  3. Understand why the person may feel blocked about raising the issue. (Either they fear your reaction, they don’t trust themselves, or both.)
  4. Introduction is important. Don’t refer to “conflict” per se.
  5. Do not start assertively. Rather, “I have been noticing… [list behavioral observations], and I was wondering if it might be helpful to discuss it.”
  6. If the person disavows feeling conflict, pivot to, “Well, I have been feeling this myself and would feel better if I got your views about it.”
  7. Begin by asking much more than telling.
  8. Up front, ask what it is they wish to accomplish. A surprisingly simple “solution space” may quickly become obvious.
  9. Do not disagree outright. Ask more questions. Avoid using the word “why” because it puts people on the defensive.
  10. On two pieces of paper, each of you should list all the assumptions you make about the disagreement.
  11. On two pieces of paper, each of you should list the steps you would follow to implement the issue in question.
  12. Compare assumptions and methods. (At this point you are talking about data and process, not people and personalities—which lends itself to a calmer discussion.)
  13. When the agreement is reached, record what each of you understands. (Don’t ask for signatures! That means lack of trust.)
  14. Develop a mechanism for future use to signal there’s a disagreement and restart this process.

How the Energies Typically Approach Conflict

• Conflict averse
• Wants everyone and everything in a happy picture
• Tends to personalize conflict and can feel hurt
• Wants to feel heard and understood
• Desires everyone to get along
• Can sometimes stir the emotional pot to create drama
• Will cycle through emotions in resolving the conflict
• Will want to have a better relationship in place
• Wants to feel heard, understood and liked
• Conflict averse, up to a point
• Low confidence in situations that have potential for emotionality
• Least ease in communicating emotions
• Rational
• Wants the solution to be supported by facts
• Deals easily with conflict
• Blunt
• Respects candor and straight talk
• Wants to resolve issues to move on and be productive
• Wants a clear path to accomplish goals

Crucial Simpli5 Resources

In Simpli5 at the Network tab, find a person’s name by scrolling through the list or by narrowing down the list using the “Find a Connection” filter. Tap the person’s name to open the “Working with…” page.

The main panel of this page contains all available information to help you better understand and work with a person. Tap a module box to view that content. 

Individual Content
  1. For this application, at minimum you should review the other person's Work Preferences and Learning Preferences.
  2. Other individual content includes Energy Map, Time Map, Project Completion Cycle, and Leadership Style. 
Paired Content
  1. [Recommended] Leading 1:1 suggests how a leader can improve a relationship and performance by accommodating the other person’s energies. Helpful even if you aren’t the “official” leader.
  2.  Also available is Working Together, which compares you and your partner’s alignment in a peer-to-peer collaboration and provides awareness of where you both may need to adjust your preferred energies.
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