3 Ways To Turn Conflict Into Collaboration

Let's talk about the 3 steps that make it "us against the problem" rather than "us against each other", which will make any conflict easier to solve.

This video is from my course "Conflict Management: Step-by-step prevention and resolution".

If you prefer text over video, you can read the transcript below.

Click here to check out the full course.

Creating collaboration from conflict - video transcript.

I already talked about how important it is that we approach conflict resolution with the attitude of working together to overcome a problem. Rather than treating it as a battle between us and the other person.

Because while many people want vengeance, vindication, or to be proven right – the ultimate goal of any conflict is to repair the relationship and minimize the chance that the same conflict happens again.

And the only good way to do that is to come to agreements that work well enough for everyone.

But even if we manage to get our own attitude to the right place, we still have to get the other person on board. And that can be challenging. Especially in situations where the other person is upset.

So to help you do this, I’m going to share three simple tricks with you. That you can use to get the other person to adopt the mindset of us-against-the-problem.

State your intention to collaborate.

It’s always a good idea to let the other person know what your intention is. You can do this by saying something along the lines of. “My goal is for us to figure out a solution to this together. I’d like for this conversation to be us against the problem. Not us against each other. Does that sound ok to you?”

Most people will want to agree to that. Because it makes the whole situation feel less confrontational. And lets them know that you’re not there to attack them – but to resolve the conflict.

Keep focusing on collaboration and not conflict.

It’s really easy to get side-tracked and forget about our noble intention of collaboration if the other person says something that upsets us. And that goes both ways.

If you notice that one or both of you are starting to focus less on a mutual solution and more on what the other person has done wrong, guide the focus back to where it needs to be. This can be as easy as saying. “I’m sorry. I’m noticing that I’m getting carried away and forgetting my intention of being us against the problem and not us against each other. Can we take a minute to talk about how we can solve this together?”

And I recommend you say this even if you’re noticing that the other person is going into battle mode rather than collaboration mode. By stating that this is what you’re doing, you’ll often notice that the other person feels safe admitting that they are too and more easily go back to collaborating.

Reassure the other person to reduce defensiveness.

People quickly lose sight of collaboration and go into battle mode if they feel attacked. If you notice that someone becomes defensive or upset by something you say, it’s a good idea to tell them that you do not mean what you say as an attack. That you recognize that it’s your experience you’re describing and not their intentions or even facts. And that you are only sharing it so that they can better understand your needs and wants.

From there, make an extra effort to listen to them when they respond to what you’ve said. And make sure that you fully understand their experience in the ways we’ll talk about in just a little bit.

Click here to check out the full course.

Hi, I'm TJ Guttormsen.

Since 2009 I’ve coached clients ranging from Olympic gold medalists and billionaires, to people who simply want more out life.

I’ve done over 100 national media appearances, published books, and created online courses that have earned several “Highest Rated” titles from their 11 000+ members.

Today I coach clients from all over the world, and teach seminars for business and events from my home in Las Vegas.

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