Hi! Welcome to this week’s training. I’m Sherri Wilson, an educator, strategist, and introverted entrepreneur that empowers other introverted entrepreneurs the art of persuasion and influence so you can communicate your message clearly and confidently.
I want to talk today about resolving conflict wherever it might show up—your business, in your team, or even your personal life. I’ve observed mainly 4 MAIN REASONS for conflict.
Personality.This is by far the most common reason for conflict because each personality operates from very different motivations, fears, and priorities. Each one has very different trust currencies and, not to mention, very different behavioral styles. Some are fast-paced and dominant. Some people are slower paced and people focused. I don’t have time to go into all of the differences, but I do have a special surprise that will give you insight at the end of this training.
Miscommunication.You might be thinking, “Duh,” (lol) but this is the second most common cause of conflict and is deeply rooted in number 1, personalities, with some extra twists. It’s important for you to know that when you’re communicating with another person, you’re communicating with the totality of a person—past experiences, present circumstances, and future aspirations. The past is the FILTER for every interaction. The present is the grid for their current mental state—good or bad. And most of the time, people come to you to solve their problems so their current state is less than satisfactory, especially if they’ve been frustrated by others’ inability to solve their problems. And, the future is their goal shot, their home run, their touchdown aspiration that are translated into expectations they have for you to help them get there. This means that what you say is not necessarily what they hear.
Unmet expectations. This is obviously tied into number two. And what makes this one even more tricky is that sometimes people either don’t voice their expectations (you should know them, right?), think they have but not clearly, or have such high expectations that it’s impossible to meet them.
Three Client Types.In my course, I teach that there are three client types to avoid or fire—1) the negativistic, 2) the perfectionist, and 3) the sadist. These can be hard to spot at first because all can come off really nice. The negativistic is rigid, inflexible, and only notices what you do wrong. The perfectionist micro-manages everything, constantly bugs you through emails, calls, AND texts, and has standards so high no one can meet them. The sadist seems kind on the surface but ONE MISTAKE wipes out all the hard and good work you did with an unreasonably harsh critique of everything.
Techniques to Deal with Conflict
Learn each personality like the back of your hand. If there’s one thing you do, it’s this! Think of two people speaking different languages. It’s confusing, frustrating and can leave you feeling hopeless to try to get your message across. Each personality has it’s own LANGUAGE. Learn it and then interact with them from their perspective.
Make it plain.The best way to avoid miscommunication is a simple technique that I use all of the time. I will repeat back (not word for word) what I think I heard them say. This lets me solidify what they want or allows them to correct any misconceptions I have from our conversation. I then make sure they know what I said and MEANT in spite of any filters they might have.
Clearly define expectations.This is where brutal honesty is necessary. I sometimes even ask others, “What are your expectations?” I.e. what do they expect from the work I do for them? I might phrase it, “What goal do you want to reach from our working together?” Or “What is the biggest challenge you want solved from our working together?” If their expectation is beyond my expertise, I let them know and offer alternatives or even other professionals that can help them. Once clearly defined, I then do regular check-ins to make sure I’m meeting them and we’re still focused. I’ve found that sometimes we need to refocus because the REAL issue comes to the surface in the process.
Fire the negative, perfectionist, and sadistic clients.
Show your palms. A quick tip in the heat of the moment is to raise your hands palm outward. This is a signal to the other person’s brain that it’s all going to be ok and you’re not a threat. Assure them you will fix it and validate what they’re saying (unless they are one of the clients you need to fire).
Use empathic statements.Empathic statements are basically statements repeating back to the other person what they are feeling or saying not like a parrot. You’ll just make them madder. If you hear frustration, it can be, “I’m sure this is so frustrating! How about we do this…”
Know when to walk away.Sometimes there’s no fixing the conflict and you need to know when to walk away from either a business or even personal relationship. And beware of hurting yourself by lowering prices so much, it costs you or wasting time with someone that will never be happy.
Ok, so as stated, I’ve got a special surprise for you. For the first time ever, I’m offering the first module in my Genius Communication course to you guys for free. It’s the entire module with the workbook. It’s all about personalities. I feel it’s so important to your success that I’m getting it into your hands.