3 Bad Habits that Impede Successful Conflict Resolution in the Workplace
Joan Sabott, Queen’s IRC Facilitator, 2018
A habit can be defined as a “usual manner of behavior.” But what I know about conflict is that there is often nothing “usual” about it. What happens to those of us who support others in conflict is that we tend to reach for the same set of tools each time, although we often are trying to solve very different problems. Even with the best of intentions, these habits can result in frustration, shallow or even bad resolutions, and won’t meet the needs of the people in conflict. Here are some common habits when dealing with conflict and what can be done to overcome them.
Habit #1: Intervening With the Wrong Process
When problems, disputes, and conflicts arise, we habitually fall back on solutions that have worked in the past, or processes and policies with which we are comfortable. But using the same set of tools to help resolve all conflicts can’t take care of every job in our organizations any more than a hammer can fix a broken dishwasher.
Here are some examples and potential pitfalls.
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Questioning Your Way to Success
An Excerpt from BrainFishing: A Practice Guide to Questioning Skills
Gary T. Furlong and Jim Harrison, Queen’s IRC Facilitators, 2018
Many books have been written about negotiation strategy and the different approaches to negotiation, from interest-based to traditional bargaining to win-win to principled, and many more. Much less, however, has been written about the detailed mechanics of successful negotiation and problem solving, about the face-to-face tools and language skills we must master to be more effective negotiators. In particular, one of the most important skills is the “art of the question” - the ability to ask effective, powerful questions and to combine that ability with strong empathy and listening. These are the skills that deliver better outcomes and win-win solutions.
This is why we wrote BrainFishing: A Practice Guide to Questioning Skills. This new book delivers clear, useful skills in a practical format. It is both a “how to” book for making questioning skills your forte, and an informative guide to understanding the neuroscience behind why the use of questions is far more effective than arguing, telling, or debating. It identifies many different types of questions and when to use them; it highlights the effective use of acknowledging and empathy statements; and it even offers a few “magic words” - words that facilitate effective engagement. It’s also a fun, fast-paced, and at times irreverent look at the skills we can all use to be successful in times of constant change, whether it be at the negotiating table, during a workplace interaction or in a social situation.
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