Conflict Resolution Guide

Two employees not seeing eye to eye? Use this guide to facilitate a discussion on how their natural strengths can contribute to a better working relationship using PI’s Relationship Guide

Looking to have this conversation today? Download the low C one-pager.

For those with more time, continue reading for a five step guide on using behavioral data to work towards conflict resolution between two employees. You will need access to the PI Inspire tool and at least 2 days.

1. Send an email and gather the facts.

Conflict between two people is often the result of a lack of shared understanding. Before you get these employees in the same room, you’ll want to level set expectations.

In a message or email, ask both employees to address the following:

  • The issue and its effect on their performance
  • A specific example of the issue at hand
  • Their ideal solution and how it will positively impact their performance moving forward 

Help both people familiarize themselves with their natural strengths and challenges in working with others with the Relationship Guide. 

• Initial email template

[Intro]

I’m inviting you both to a meeting where we will discuss the context and possible solutions to _____________ (conflict). My goal is getting us to a solution that sits well with everyone so that we can get back to _____________________ (performance metric for doing great work).

 

  1. Let’s make the most of this time together: I want you both to complete the following 2 things before we all meet: Read through the attached 1:1 Relationship Guide. Familiarize yourself with its contents. We’ll use this guide as the jumping off point to have a productive conversation. After reading the Relationship Guide, answer the questions below in an email. I want you to reply honestly and to the best of your ability.
    1. Name the issue and its effect on your performance
    2. Provide a specific example of the issue at hand
    3. Discuss your ideal solution and how it will positively impact your performance moving forward

 

During the meeting, you’ll both:

  1. Get a chance to describe your side
  2. Use the relationship guide to improve communication going forward
  3. Arrive at a solution that benefits you and our team

 

Let me know if you have any questions or concerns prior to the session on __________ (date).


2. Capture the facts in the conflict resolution worksheet.

After you receive both responses, capture the facts and your own self-reflection in the “Before the session” section of the conflict resolution worksheet (you can fill this out directly on your computer!). 

The conflict resolution worksheet should help you organize the information uncovered during this process. It is divided into 3 sections that you will fill out before, during, and after your meeting with your employees.

Jason (Collaborator) and Nicole (Individualist) have different behavioral profiles, what might conflict resolution look like for them?

3. Meet to explore possible solutions.

Facilitate the meeting by filling out the “During the session” section of the worksheet.

Your job as a facilitator is to create a common language your team members can use so they can work better together. Try to re-word employee conflict in terms of shared goals, behavioral drives, or your organization’s own unique lingo to create a bridge of communication for the employees in conflict. When the playing field is level and everyone is speaking the same language, this will open up space for you to guide both parties toward a solution that works for everyone. Use the worksheet to take notes and organize thoughts.

PI PRO TIP: leave 5-10 minutes at the end of the meeting for both employees to address anything that was left unsaid.

What you’ll bring to the meeting:

What if the meeting is over before we reach a resolution?

If you’ve filled out the “During the session” section of the worksheet to the best of your ability, let both parties know that you will be following up with either another meeting or your own recommendation for a solution.

4. Propose a solution and align expectations.

Complete the “After the session” section of the worksheet and form a solution.

After the meeting’s over, you should have a new, deeper understanding of the conflict. If a resolution wasn’t already decided upon in the meeting, it is now your responsibility to take what you know and recommend a solution.

Fill out the “After the session” section of the worksheet and use the context of team dynamics plus your own knowledge of your organization to form a solution that will satisfy both parties.

5. Follow up to discuss the solution and timeline for action.

Send out a follow-up email to recap what’s been discussed and to propose your solution. Indicate that you will revisit the topic at a later date to determine if progress has been made, and attach the Relationship Guide and worksheet, if needed.

• Follow-up email template

[Intro]

Thank you both for attending the session and sharing your concerns with me.

Now let’s talk about where we’ll go from here. Here is the solution that I believe would benefit our team most:

  1. [your recommended solution; list why it would work]
  2. [possible other options, if they exist]

Let me know how you feel about moving forward with this decision. This only works if everyone’s bought in.

 

Expect to follow up with me in [15, 30] days. I’ve also attached the Relationship Guide and the worksheet from the session for you to review.


Sample worksheet
Let’s help Ian and Nicole, who work in the IT department of a cosmetics company. Ian handles the budget for the IT department, and Nicole’s role is to notify Ian of all service orders. Nicole interrupts Ian every time a new service order is completed (which is about every 10 minutes), disrupting Ian’s focus, and frustrating him. He begins to avoid Nicole, disrupting communication on their team. Click below to see a sample worksheet that’s been filled out for this scenario.
Looking to develop yourself as a manager?

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Want more help?

Read this post on the PI blog for more tips on conflict resolution.

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