You’ve likely heard of the term retrospective. Maybe you host retrospective meetings with your staff or in your executive roundtables. A retrospective is a backwards glance at something that has happened or at a project that has wrapped up. The intent is to assess what went right (and therefore what should be done again in the future) and what went wrong (and how to avoid making those mistakes again).
There’s a specific type of retrospective that I’d like to discuss − in fact, I created it.
It’s called a conflict retrospective.
Essentially, this means looking back at a recent conflict to consider how it unfolded. More specifically, it means identifying where you as a leader get hooked and trapped in these situations and building more effective strategies to handle similar situations going forward.
We do retrospectives after finishing a project… why not do one after mediating a conflict?
Here are the ways you may be getting trapped when experiencing conflict in your business:
Engaging in the battle instead of walking away
If someone wants to pick a fight with you, you don’t have to engage. When someone disagrees with you, it’s not an invitation to retaliate or get defensive. Sometimes, the best thing to do is acknowledge their point of view and walk away.
Jumping into the ring instead of watching from the stands
It can be hard to know when you should step in versus when you should step aside. Just because you may be in a leadership or management position does not mean that it’s your job to solve every problem that exists between team members. Rather than positioning yourself in the middle, coach the individual parties separately and help them find ways to reach their respective goals.
Needing to be right instead of being happy
You know that you’re right, and you want everyone else to know it too. But sometimes, we let our need to be right interfere with our goals. We put a stake in the ground behind positions that ultimately don’t really matter and that aren’t that important.
Correcting others because they MUST know the truth
They’re wrong, you have the right answer and you HAVE to tell them! But do you really? Telling others that they’re wrong does nothing to improve their performance. In focusing on their wrongness, you make them feel small. Instead, identify their goals and help them think in ways that allow them to easily achieve those goals.
It’s time to take a look at your conflict patterns and to understand what keeps messing you up every time there’s a problem. From there, you can learn to handle conflicts more effectively, efficiently and without ruining your day. And as an added bonus, your team will thank you.
Frame of Mind Coaching™ specializes in identifying the patterns that are getting in the way of your success… including conflict patterns.