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3 Things You Must Know about resolving conflict at work

If you’re like me, conflict at work can leave you feeling anywhere from irritated to wondering if your job’s at risk … your income, the promotion you want, even your family’s well-being.

They could be at risk, and the part of your brain that’s focused on survival, that part will serve up every catastrophe possible. UGH. You don’t want conflict, and you know it happens.

When it does, you don’t want to be labeled a “problem” at work, or worse. And as women, deserved or not, we’re more likely to get a derogatory label. The good news is that you can be that person, that woman, who’s good at resolving conflict at work, not after the fact, but when it really counts — in the moment.

“Only strength can cooperate. Weakness can only beg.” – Dwight D Eisenhower

If you’re asking yourself “have strength how…?” you’re not alone. I’ve been there, and so have thousands of others. Using strength with integrity and honor is worthy of your good name.

The most effective way of resolving conflict at work?

In a word: Quickly.

You know it when you see it, in the moment of conflict, and everybody knows who’s “owned” whom. Sometimes we see it in political debates, famous historical examples include vice presidential candidates Bentsen & Quayle, and presidential Reagan & Mondale.

They make us laugh, and there’s no doubt who won. Nothing that comes after changes that. When you know how, resolving conflict at work becomes simple, and sets you up for the advancement your talent deserves.

Here are my Top 3 Tips for resolving conflict at work like a boss

The #1 Thing? Status. It’s the extent to which others hold you in high esteem. Respect you, defer to you. It’s a condition of relationship, and a basis of power. People defer for your superpower, your expertise, your wisdom, influence, ability to command attention, control time. It’s necessary for power, letting you control what gets done. Resources? They can be anything of value, including time and attention.

Status is the gift you can give to YOU. You’ll thank yourself for doing it.

Ask yourself:

  • What is my #1 superpower? My expertise?
  • What other superpowers might I have?
  • When do people defer to you?
  • What expertise do you have that they don’t? (do they know about it?)

When valuable resources are at risk, that’s the time to make your status-boosting move.

And ladies, body-autonomy is a valuable resource. YOU are the one to control yours, to draw the line on what’s OK for you, and what’s not.

When you boost your status with honor, with integrity, it gives you the ability to control resources, to determine consequences. That is power. Status is where YOU, dear Sister, can play like a pro.

That #2 Thing? It’s being right on the value – it’s #2 because while important, it’s not enough. To influence, think bigger, as in what’s the ‘big idea’? It shows up as the through-line for business value, community value, organizational value, personal value.

The big idea is the context for the value your initiative or project intends to provide. Why? The point is to solve problems, problems that once solved, free people to be more and do more.

So what’s the big idea of your business? Your company?Your community? How is that different from your competitors? What makes you better at serving your customers, clients, constituents? What makes you a fit for them — putting you ahead of your competitor?

And That #3 Thing, Challenges happen. Whoever prevails in the moment, wins. Anything else is cleanup.

Pretend you have a jar of the world’s most expensive jelly, from Bompas and Parr. Would you rather have it right from the (very fancy) tray, or try to enjoy it after it hits the floor?

You’d probably prefer to avoid the mess – aka the “cleaning up” of an after-the-fact “let’s talk” session.

Frankly, the WIN has already happened. (And everyone knows it.)

Worse, what you want, the other person will only give you when they’re feeling generous. Are you in charge of their generosity? No.

“Let’s talk” does little for what’s already happened – including who solidified the power to be generous to you (or not) in the future. That’s an expense you’re wise to avoid.

Fortunately there’s a better way.

  • Take charge
  • State your expectations
  • Redirect to the matter at hand, with NO blame or shame

With this, you’ll win the day, walk away with more status, and be on your way to your next career move.

Ready to build this skill? Sign up for a Session with Dorothy and get ready to soar.

There’s nothing like resolving conflict at work to make your day.