Approach Conflicts Positively

Correcting others doesn’t have to be tense or confrontational. See it as an opportunity to help them fulfill their goals:

  • Seek other people’s views but be willing to step out and make the choice yourself
  • Be specific. Explain specific incidents; never be vague, or say someone “always” does something
  • Stay current. If a problem bothered you a few months ago but you didn’t raise it then, forget about it now
  • Work on one problem at a time. Overwhelming others with a list of items you want corrected only causes resentment
  • Seek a two-way conversation. Check with the other person that your understanding of the problem is correct. Sometimes they may not be the one at fault
  • Start and end the conversation with praise. Start the meeting by mentioning a project in which the employee excelled. At the end, tell them you believe in their ability to succeed
  • Criticise in private. Don’t embarrass the other person by criticising them in front of their peers

Source: Leadership Management Australia (LMA) Newsletter, Sept ‘03

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