When you find yourself locked in conflict, suspend your competitive edge long enough to discover what people in the conflict really want.
For many of us, the natural reaction to conflict is to become more competitive. We prepare ourselves to fight to the finish and behave as if victory must be one sided (and of course, must be ours alone).
As Doctors Thomas and Kilmann have pointed out in their influential work on conflict, we have more choices than that.
We can always choose to compete if necessary. But first, what if there's an opportunity to build relationships? What if there's an opportunity to collaborate?
Isn't it worth taking a moment to step back and find out?
Look at the situation from a more impartial distance.
Ask meaningful questions with genuine curiosity and an open mind.
It's that important.
-- Doug Smith
For a useful Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Modes Instrument in PDF form:
Info on Thomas-Kilmann available on Wikipaedia:
Learn more in the workshops: Communicating for Results and Supervising for Success