Performance coach Katherine Eitel advises delegates at BSAVA Congress
No one likes conflict, but it is the leader's role to manage and resolve it. Performance coach Katherine Eitel gave some excellent advice on how to do this in her lecture at BSAVA Congress in Birmingham (5-8 April).
She said before the leader/manager steps into a conflict conversation, they need to have decided what their role in the conflict has been and take on responsibility for this. They need to challenge their belief systems so that they behave in a truly neutral manner and handle the conversation from a positive place without negative thoughts.
When handling conflict conversations it is helpful to consider these four important words:
Gift - see conflict as a gift. Do not shy away from it, but see it as an opportunity to sort out a problem
Expectation - expect the conversation to go well and that at the very least you will learn from it
Choice - remember that everyone has a choice, but your standards are set in stone. If someone does choose not to follow them, perhaps they should choose a different job or role
Open - always remain open to the thought that your ideas are not necessarily the only right ones.
Katherine said there are a number of rules of engagement for conflict conversations. There should be no 'talking backwards' - always move forward with issues.
No two people see the past equally, they will have their own versions of what might have occurred. It is important to accept this and move on to solutions rather than arguing.
Katherine also suggested using the following ARCH acronym:
A - agree to acknowledge any issues and find mutual goals
R - request a new agreement
C - clarify what has been agreed people do not always hear or understand what you think they do
H- always leave people with hope.