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Building Effective Relationships in Your Organizations.

The next part of the conversation is defining the problem. A consensus on the definition of the problem is necessary for participants to be able to compare and discuss solutions. As noted earlier, the problem might be defined as the issue with one occurrence, a pattern of episodes or the working relationship. After creating a mutually agreed upon definition, the next step is to brainstorm possible solutions to the conflict. If possible, these solutions should address the needs of all parties involved.

After a list has been created of alternative solutions, each participant should discuss their preferred solution. There also needs to be a “reality check” with the decision makers. Perhaps the ideal solution is too expensive or not feasible because of existing regulation or organizational policies. The goal is finding commonality and acceptable compromises that allow for all participants to feel like their needs are met and the conflict is being addressed. Once this solution is chosen, an action plan that outlines the “who, what, and when” of fixing the problem needs to be devised. Making sure that everyone involved understands their role and tasks are an important step to accomplish the solution.