Monday, July 5, 2010

Top 10 Tips to Resolve Conflict in Meetings

Where can conflict occur?

The key to managing conflict effectively is to learn the skills necessary to become a good conflict manager.

There are three main areas where conflicts occur:

* interpersonal one-on-one relationships
* meetings
* negotiations.

Although there are similarities between all of these areas, each one has a different emphasis depending on the setting the conflict occurs in. We'll look more closely at conflict in meetings as you will all have experienced this I'm sure!

Conflict in meetings

We spend a lot of our working lives in meetings; some are fruitful and some, less so. Meetings are often called to discuss a project or an idea so it is almost inevitable that conflict will arise; there is certainly a strong potential as it is unlikely that everyone will be in agreement.

Conflict in meetings can be very disruptive and hold up a decision or resolution. But they can also be very helpful. Remember, conflicts are disagreements. If the person who is disagreeing with you is raising valid questions, it may benefit the group to address the issues they are presenting.

In fact, by listening to them, you may gain valuable insight into what is and what is not working within your organisation or on your project. However, if the person continues past the point of disagreement to the point of disruptiveness, specific steps should be taken.

10 Top Tips to resolve conflict in meetings

Below is a list of conflict resolution tactics that you can use for meetings that get "out of control."

1. Find some "grain of truth" in the other person's position that you can build upon.

2. Identify areas of agreement in the two positions.

3. Defer the subject to later in the meeting to handle.

4. Document the subject and set it aside to discuss in the next meeting.

5. Ask to speak with the individual after the meeting or during a break.

6. See if someone else in the meeting has a response or recommendation.

7. Present your view, but do not force agreement. Let things be and go on to the next topic.

8. Agree that the person has a valid point and there may be some way to make the situation work for both parties.

9. Create a compromise.

10. Watch out for those who are just 'scoring points' and don't really have anything valuable to raise!

By : Kate_Cobb

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