Monday, October 28, 2013

Turning Confrontation to Collaboration...Getting the dialogue back on track

I had the opportunity to interview Sharon Wilson on a recent EDA webinar for which I am the featured presenter and host.
Sharon Wilson

 EDA - Economic Developers Alberta is collaborating with me to offer a Lunchinar (webinars at lunch) series. 

My colleague and friend Sharon Wilson, a Chartered Mediator and dispute resolution expert joined me on a recent webinar in the series, we were talking about turning a confrontation to a conversation.  All too often conversations go off the tracks and end up in a combative or confrontational dialogue.

Sharon talked about some of the barriers to collaboration and productive conversations, including:
  • Self perception
  • Hidden Expectations
  • Covert communication
  • Not paying attention to how we word our comments
  • Speaking in a way that people can hear you
  • Understanding non verbal communication
  • Exploring the underlying needs in an issue.

People create more conflict when they push back in the conversation. Sharon suggested that one common problem is the tendency for people often jump in too early to solve the disagreement, and it derails the dialogue. What’s very important in avoiding this is to go below the surface discussion and really explore what is going on.   

Personality differences often get in the way, and of course emotions get in the way… so deal with these first.  

Ask yourself this question.... "Is how I am going to respond is going to move the conversation towards resolution or away from resolution?" This is a good guiding question in choosing your words carefully so that you actually advance the dialogue and keep it on track.

Sharon also pointed out that you can Use the WIN method:

I think/feel/see
And next time….

The point of moving conflict to collaboration and respectful conversation is to build a bridge, and you can achieve this through active listening, the WIN method, and, asking questions. 

 The next EDA webinar is on the topic of Engaging employees in the workplace, on October 30.  You can find out more information and register here:  

Even if you can't join us live, it is a good idea to register so that you can still get the recording of the webinar and listen to it at your leisure.  You can register at:

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