A Win-Win Situation Niki Tudge details how to use conflict resolution skills to enhance your clients’ commitment and compliance Part One of this two-part article looks at understanding what conflict resolution is, how to set ground rules, the five conflict resolution styles and the big picture of conflict resolution. “There is an old story about two girls arguing over an orange. They both wanted the single orange for themselves. They argued for hours over who should get it and why. Finally they realized that they could both win. One girl wanted the rind to make a cake and the other girl wanted to make herself orange juice.
hy is it that many people have a negative conditioned emotional response to the word “conflict”? Why do we always assume that conflict is negative, unpleasant and a creator of all evil? This is simply not true! As humans we are all individual and thus very different. It is when our differences come to the surface that conflict can arise. I am challenging you to switch paradigms and start thinking of conflict as simply a difference in how we approach and feel about things. If you can do that, then you are off to a great start in being able to generate positive outcomes from conflict rather than believing that conflict is adversarial and aggressive. The fact that conflict exists is not a bad thing as long as we resolve it effectively. Conflict can lead to enhanced personal and professional growth. Think about all the great relationships you can forge; business partnerships you can enhance and situations 52
BARKS from the Guild/July 2014
Conflict is not always a bad thing
you can resolve with your clients if you handle conflict effectively. In our industry, with our roles as consultants, trainers and caregivers, having a grasp of conflict resolution is a ‘must-have’ skill to have in our tool-kit. So let’s view conflict as just that, an opportunity to generate positive, collaborative solutions. If we then arm ourselves with a conflict resolution process, we have all the necessary tools we need to explore and understand our differences and use this understanding to interact with people in a more productive manner. Think about how you can enhance the life of a pet if you are better equipped to collaborate with pet owners. As Stephen Covey said, “Seek first to understand then to be understood”. What is Conflict? The Random House Dictionary defines conflict as: “to
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This model of win-win situations and mutual gain is always the preferred outcome for any conflict
Your BARKS summer edition. The quarterly publication from The Pet Professional Guild