October 9, 2020

Involving conflict


Setting up a conversation involving conflict, will it be easier if it’s one to one or in a wider forum? Will you get more openness, more honesty, more willingness to compromise or change positions based on the merits of the conversation if it’s held behind closed doors, when nobody else is listening and nobody has to save face?

Most times, for absolute candour, the fewer people involved the better. Most times, it’s easier to engage over potential conflicts in the spirit of enquiry when nobody feels they have to defend a position in front of others.

If possible, when you suspect the conversation will be uncomfortable on one side or the other, aim to have it out of the limelight. If that can’t be done, try to have a heads-up conversation first. If that’s verboten, be prepared to lower your expectations.

Skippy strategy: Keep the shutters open with smaller conversations.