There are a range of effective approaches to resolving conflict in the workplace. But for the best results, you should use one approach–collaboration–much more frequently than the others.
Today I want to discuss what gets me out of bed in the morning, what inspires me to do this work.
It is this: The beauty and efficacy of collaboration.
There are, of course, a range of legitimate and potentially effective approaches to resolving conflicts at work.
You can avoid the situation and have little to do with the other person and the conflict; you can accommodate by giving your counterpart what they want; and you can compete, which involves trying to meet your interests regardless of what your counterpart wants.
But to create the most value, more often than not you should employ strategies that require that you work with your counterpart, particularly collaboration.
When you collaborate, you find out about your counterpart’s needs and interests, hopes and fears, you share your own, and you work together to come up with the best solution you can to the problems you face.
Collaborating does not make sense for every conflict; there is a place for avoiding, and accommodating and competing. And it’s not easy to do.
But regardless of the kind of work you do, you will get more of what you want if your default is to collaborate, to work with your counterpart.
(Thanks to Thomas and Kilmann for their conflict mode instrument.)