Effectively Handing Non-Negotiable Conflicts
Sometimes people find themselves frustrated and stuck in an unresolved conflict because they failed to appreciate the difference between negotiable and non-negotiable conflicts.
The vast majority of conflicts in our lives are negotiable in nature. This means that we need to rely on our ability to influence because we can’t force others to behave as we want.
Non-negotiable conflicts are those that we are not willing to compromise on. These conflicts could ultimately result in someone’s termination. Or they might result in someone needing to make amends to their coworkers for acting inappropriately. In non-negotiable conflicts we need to do more than influence; we need to prevail.
If we negotiate the non-negotiable than we are automatically communicating that we are open to compromise. It is imperative in non-negotiable situations that you stop negotiating and start clearly communicating what the future is going to look like if their behavior persists.
Here are the key steps to resolving a non-negotiable conflict.
Clearly communicate your expectations.
Identify the “follow through” or consequences that will occur if the problem is not corrected.
If the problem persists, follow through with the consequences in a consistent manner. If you follow through sometimes, then not at other times, you are essentially negotiating (and many individuals will take full advantage of this)
Be prepared to escalate the level of seriousness of the consequences. Some individuals only take issues seriously when you demonstrate your own level of resolve
If the behavior improves for a certain period of time but then returns, be prepared to administer consequences again. Don’t start back at the beginning of the process.
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