Managing Mondays: 10 Steps to Long Term Conflict Management

You are infuriated! The situation is out of control and you just don’t have time to deal with it right now.

So what do you do?

Make a plan!

1. Schedule a time to discuss the situation allowing time for the problems to cool off; many things do not get completely settled in the heat of the moment. Choose a neutral location where you both can keep your bearings.

2. Identify the problem. Be calm and civilized with each other. What triggered the issue? Why does it bother you?

3. How did you each contribute to the problem? What did the other person say? What is your version of the story? Try to listen more than you talk.

4. Take ownership of your portion of the conflict. What did you do to cause this? Admit guilt if it is your fault.

5. Collaborate on possible solutions. What is the desired outcome of each person?

6. Discuss possible solutions and how each would fit into the equation.

7. Determine which solution best fits the situation and take action. Choose one resolution come to an agreement on how each individual will contribute toward this solution.

9. Follow up with another meeting to discuss your movement.

10. As each of you comes to a resolution, forgiving and forgetting; take the time for a handshake or a hug allowing growth and camaraderie through conflict resolution.

Do you have any other thoughts?
Are there some problems that just cannot be solved?

Bookmark Managing Mondays: 10 Steps to Long Term Conflict Management

Jason Christensen is back in Chicago now working at Milwaukee Tools!
He can be reached at


2 responses to “Managing Mondays: 10 Steps to Long Term Conflict Management

  1. Jason,

    This is a good article. Many a times have I fallen into conflicts and sometimes I did manage to use some of the steps you’ve listed in your plan – this is when I gave myself time to cool down. It has worked for me at the office in situations when the other person was also willing to discuss the issue after they have cooled down. What bothers me the most is some of the influencing factors to conflicts – like other people’s hidden agendas, politics, etc. that affect the person’s willingness to discuss and resolve the matter after the conflicts. Nothing is ever simple.



  2. Jason,

    Excellent points – ground rules or rules for engagement are important before having dialogue with others, especially if one can predict that the conversation will be heated or controversial.

    I have found that in some situations it is best to have a facilitator who establishes and obtains agreement on the set rules of engagement and keeps both parties on track. I believe there are solutions to every problem, but only if there is a sincere willingness for all involved to work on the solution. Respect for each other and the ability to keep an open mind will contribute to a positive outcome.

    I really like your point about ‘forgive and forget’ – such an important life lesson.



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