Conflict is unavoidable in business. So getting really great at handling it is a key to success at any level in an organization.
Often, we approach a conflict by focusing on ourselves — our own emotional upset and the validity of our point of view. But that’s what the other party is doing too so getting to resolution can be difficult and emotionally charged.
Empathy goes a long way toward smoothing over differences and assuring mutually beneficial outcomes. One key to this is to realize that the other party is very likely to be feeling what you are feeling.
If you are frustrated, they probably are too. If you are resentful at how you are being treated — you can bet they are too.
So if you will realize that before you try to resolve the issue, that empathy can increase your compassion toward the other party and encourage you to be more flexible and open-minded.
Another mistake people make is thinking that their logic is superior. We think, “If I can just explain myself clearly enough, they’ll go along with me.”
Because the other party has their own logic. And in their mind it is better than yours. For every logic point you make, they have one to counter it. So around and around you go.
The way through this impasse is to quit arguing for your logic.
Instead, ask great questions that will surface the other party’s underlying needs, such as “what is important to you about that solution?” Then share your own underlying need.
When you reverse engineer the problem-solving process back to the real needs, there is a lot of flexibility available for meeting them that can lead to a mutually beneficial outcome.