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Steps to Resolving Conflict with Others

When you are having conflict with someone consider using the following strategy:

1. Identify the problem. Identify the person you are having trouble with. Figure out the specific behavior or attitude that is bothering you and how frequently it occurs.

2. Look at the relationships. Examine how the person interacts with others. Is it similar to the way s/he interacts with you? What makes him/her act that way? Figuring out the causes of someone's behavior helps point the way toward possible solutions.

3. Determine the costs. How does that behavior affect others? Does it cause people to lose morale? Does it effect productivity? Does it make everyone uncomfortable? If no one is affected by the person's behavior, the behavior should be ignored.

4. Plan an approach. Once you identify that the person's behavior does affect you and others, you need to have a discussion with the person. Plan an approach that fits the nature of the problem, the personality of the person involved and your relationship with that person.

5. Describe the behavior.When you do meet with that person describe the behavior in a non- accusatory manner and explain why it bothers you. Use "I" statements. For example, "Today during the meeting when I was talking about the budget and you interrupted me before I had finished my sentence, I felt really cut down."

6. State what you want.. Next be clear about what you want. "I hope that the next time I talk that I won't get interrupted".

7. Seek commitment. Be sure the person understands and try to get commitment to change. "Do you see things the same way that I do?"

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