Conflict compe­tence – “Mindset meets Method”

by | 29. Oct 2022

Mindset vs Methods

Sustainable conflict resolu­tion starts in the head

Conflict compe­tence – “isn’t there something from Ratiopharm?”

I’m always surprised when interested custo­mers get in touch with the question: “We’re having massive problems with conflicts in our company right now – can you offer us a one-day workshop?”. For one thing – if conflict compe­tence could be ” gained” in a one-day workshop, why didn’t you book it earlier, all the current hassle could have been saved?!
If I could actually guarantee the “One-Day-Conflict-Wonder” – why doesn’t everyone storm my office?
As you can see, my experi­ence as a trainer and consul­tant has proven to me that sustainable conflict resolu­tion and conflict compe­tence do not simply exist by prescrip­tion. There is more to conflict resolu­tion than simply applying a method – the right mindset is a decisive factor!

Conflict isn’t just when things go bang

If we look at conflicts and their develo­p­ment stages according to the model of Fried­rich Glasl, there are 3 phases (with 3 stages each) which escalate from “win-win”, via “win-lose” to “lose-lose”. Unfor­tu­n­a­tely, conflicts are often only seen and referred to as such when the thres­hold to “win-lose” is almost reached or even already exceeded. The impact and cost of this on conflict resolu­tion, the “inter­per­sonal climate,” and produc­ti­vity have been addressed in depth in studies by Gallup, KMPG, and others. For the U.S. alone, Gallup (2013) has estimated a loss of $350 billion per year. That’s where defini­tions by Ken Blanchard – “A problem only exists if there is a diffe­rence between what is actually happe­ning and what you desire to be happe­ning.” – and

Conflict is the gap between what you want and what you are experi­en­cing
- Nate Regier

a new dimen­sion. Conflicts are our constant compa­nion, and unresolved not only a problem when they become visible as an open dispute. Conflict compe­tence and conflict resolu­tion cannot start early enough.

Conflict compe­tence begins with head and heart

The best conflict resolu­tion method falls short if it is not accom­pa­nied by the necessary mindset. How good is a compro­mise where I meet in the middle between 2 positions compared to the result of a joint struggle for “the best of 2 worlds”?  How sustainable is the renun­cia­tion of one’s own solution – just for “the sake of peace”? What commit­ment can I still expect when I have pushed through my idea against the resis­tance of others?
To solve conflicts sustainably requires the willing­ness to struggle with each other for the best solution – or to put it differ­ently: to argue with each other at eye level! The basis for such “together­ness” is a mindset of appre­cia­tion, trust and confi­dence – anchored in head and heart.

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