Performance Pointers Banner
Need a speaker for your next meeting?
Keynote for that conference you're planning?
Or facilitator to liven up your next training session?

Contact us for more information.
Visit our site to learn about potential topics.

Quick Links
Subscribe button
Let us hear from you!

What issues are you struggling to solve? What topics would you like us to address in the future?

Send them to They may inspire a future Performance Pointer.

"Conflict is inevitable, but combat is optional."
- from Max Lucade

"A good manager doesn't try to eliminate conflict; he tries to keep it from wasting the energies of his people."
-from Robert Townsend

  February 2009

It's hard to believe that we are halfway through the first quarter of 2009. I hope you are not just surviving but thriving in these challenging times, when many are refocusing on priorities and removing the clutter in their lives and relationships. It seems everyone is being required to live and work with less which naturally translates into being more real. This month's Pointer gives some tips on dealing with the natural tensions and differences of opinion that arise when you put hard truths on the table. The days of harmony for harmony's sake are over - keep it authentic and keep it real.
All the best,
Jennifer Signature
10 Conflict Management Strategies

Ah, February! The month of love. But at some point in every relationship - because we're human - we will experience conflict.

Conflict, in and of itself, is neither positive nor negative. Simply put, conflict occurs when two more more differing opinions or values meet. How we deal with the conflict is what affects our relationships and leaves us with a positive or negative experience.
ConflictSo how do you deal with conflict that arises? Here are 10 pointers to consider the next time you find yourself in conflict.
1. Step back and define the root issue. Some conflicts may be ignited by a work task, but the real issue usually lies deeper. Perhaps an employee feels undervalued or micro-managed. If you never address the root issue, conflict will continue to surface.
2. When seeking a conflict resolution be sure to include in your discussion the underlying issues (each person's goals, interests and fears).
3. Choose the setting for a conflict conversation in advance and prepare discussion points beforehand. Someplace neutral, quiet and private. 
4. Beware of the overuse of an "Accommodate" (go along to get along) or "Compete" (my way or no way) conflict response. Both have several disadvantages and can do serious damage to either the relationship or your credibility. Sometimes they are appropriate but proceed with caution.  
5. If possible, break down the conflict into multiple parts. Some pieces may be easier to resolve than others, so get those out of the way before tackling the more controversial issues.
6. As Dr. Phil says, "Somebody needs to be the hero." Sometimes the issue can be resolved in more than one "right" approach. If you're in a deadlock over two possible approaches, be the hero by doing what it takes to move forward, even if that means a little blow to the ego.
7. Choose your battles. Not every battle is worth fighting, so best to use this strategy when the relationship is more important to you than the issue.
Office8. Admit when you're wrong. The goal is not to prove who is right or wrong, but to move the team forward. If you realize that you were wrong, admit it quickly so everyone can spend time on the solution rather than trying to decide who's to blame.
9. Focus on moving forward: make mutual commitments, request collaboration and schedule a time to follow up with each other and do a progress report.
10. Remember you're on the same team. At the end of the day, everyone wants the company to be successful and profitable. Approach conflict from this viewpoint: you're working together to resolve a problem, not against each other to prove who wins.

Visit us online at for more valuable resources.
For more information on keynote speaking, coaching, and training services from Penumbra Group, please visit our website at
Or contact us directly at