How to Work Together to Resolve Conflict

How to Work Together to Resolve Conflict

Best Practices from Chairman Jim Baka

Do you try to avoid conflict? Or do you approach it head on – ready for a good fight? Whatever your natural tendency, I believe that most people prefer to work out a positive resolution and to maintain a good standing relationship moving forward.  For your reference, I have put together some best practices to work together to maintain a positive environment. 

Unhealthy responses to conflict: Healthy responses to conflict
An inability to recognize and respond to the things that matter to the other person The capacity to recognize and respond to the things that matter to the other person
Explosive, angry, hurtful, and resentful reactions Calm, non-defensive, and respectful reactions
The withdrawal of love, resulting in rejection, isolation, shaming, and fear of abandonment A readiness to forgive and forget, and to move past the conflict without holding resentments or anger
An inability to compromise or see the other person’s side The ability to seek compromise and avoid punishing
The fear and avoidance of conflict; the expectation of bad outcomes A belief that facing conflict head on is the best thing for both sides


  • Make conflict resolution the priority rather than winning and or ‘being right” – improving and strengthening the relationship rather than winning the argument, should always be your first priority
  • Be respective of each other’s thoughts and views – avoid prejudging – fully listen first and then make judgments – try to see the other person’s point of view
  • Think about communicating  in a positive manner before speaking – eliminate criticism as it will make the other person “clam up” or become angry – if suggesting improvement, balance with confidence building and teaching
  • Clarify your thoughts and ideas before communicating – don’t generalize, but clarify the real issues and facts rather than making assumptions
  • Have the capacity to recognize and respond to important issues and challenges vs. the small detail
  • Always take the opportunity to convey something helpful to each other
  • Discuss vs. argue and control emotions – listening is not just about receiving the message, but how you listen sends a message (good or bad) back to the message sender – be mindful of the nonverbal messages you send
  • Never, ever undermine each other internally or outside the company – when with others you need to act as a cohesive team
  • Communicate more via face to face vs. e-mail – there are, however, times when you need to communicate factual information in writing
  • When having discussions with each other and with others eliminate distractions – cell phones, computers, etc. – bottom line, pay respectful attention
  • Before leaving a discussion, confirm what has been said and what needs to be done going forward
  • Have weekly meetings confirming firm priorities for the following  week – focus on being productive regarding progress/goals
  • Have the capacity and readiness to forgive and forget – conflicts continue to fester when ignored – focus on the present – don’t hold grudges based on past resentments
  • There is nothing wrong with compromise – conflicts are an opportunity for growth – when you are able to resolve conflict through compromise it builds trust in the partnership – you can feel more secure knowing your relationship can survive challenges and disagreements
  • Manage stress while remaining alert and calm – relieve stress by knowing when to let something go
  • Understand that healthy resolution will support the interests and needs of both parties

If any questions about the ideas presented or want to discuss a current issue, please contact me at 414.412.2557 or