Developing Your Talent

Coaching Tips: Use Conflict to Find Solutions

By JC Heinen on May 7, 2012

Scott Belsky, author of “Making Ideas Happen”, states, “When I ask creative teams to tell me about how they push ideas to fruition, one of the things they swear by is fighting.”

Disagreement is an inevitable by-product of relationships – both personal and professional. In team dynamics, constructive disagreement gives participants the opportunity to look at an issue from different points of view and consider new options. While some co-workers may be resistant to what they consider “confrontation,” an environment that encourages dissenting ideas is one that fosters creativity and is conducive to solving problems. First of all, though, team members should feel comfortable expressing different ideas.

Tips to argue effectively:

  • Civility is key: Treat each other with respect
  • Avoid using absolutes such as “always” and “never”
  • Listen – don’t just wait to talk
  • Avoid “steamrolling” others in the group. Instead, encourage reticent team members to share their opinions
  • Discourage finger-pointing or blaming
  • Remain focused on the topic at hand
  • Avoid dredging up old history
  • Use questions to invite solutions
  • Don’t get personal and don’t take things personally. If someone disagrees with your idea, it’s not an indictment of your whole thought process, it’s merely a difference in opinion.

When there’s a problem, conflict is a natural outcome. And it’s from the conflict and tension that a solution arises. So it’s not a question of whether you’ll argue with others, but how.

One Response to “Coaching Tips: Use Conflict to Find Solutions”

  1. Chuck Presbury

    These are ageless and spot on suggestions. My observation is that the key to getting into conflict and inability to work it out well is overwhelming due to our lack of listening. Watch most conversaions these daya and no body is really litening- mostly talking and even if they repsond tto the other person ths content is ususlly about themselves not reflecting the other person. The key is slowing everyone down and using evry means to get ideas and concerns out where people can hear each other which may take a lot of patience


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