5 Questions

14 Dec

Questions. The more I spend time in the field of conflict resolution, the more important they become to me.

That is why I attended a workshop entitled: Asking Questions that Matter – I’m always looking for another opportunity to share conflict resolutions techniques that are simple and don’t require a mediator.

I hope that these 5 questions (or a variation thereof) provide you some structure for working through a conflict with others.

So, let’s say you’re a supervisor with 2 or 3 employees who are at odds. What do you do?

Find dedicated time to sit down with them in one room and work through these questions. Often people in conflict aren’t talking. You can help get the conversation going again.

Here it goes. The questions fall into 5 categories:

Data/Information Gathering

What happened?

Sounds so simple, doesn’t it? It’s critical for each person to have the chance to share his/her story about what happened. And it’s equally important that this is uninterrupted time.


What did it mean to you?

It’s always amazing to me. So often, people have totally different perspectives about the same event. It’s important to each person to explain his/her interpretation so the others can hear it.


How do you feel about that? or How does that impact you? (for those who don’t like to talk about feelings)

So, now it’s time time to look inside and figure out what people are feeling. Until you touch that inner place, you can’t really resolve a dispute!


What do you want?

Also amazing to me. People can usually tell you exactly what would help address the situation for them. After all, they have been living it for some time. Is is an apology? Acknowledgement of  something? Monetary consideration?


Where do we go from here?

Here’s the part when you can see whether the parties are ready to move forward. They may be or perhaps not.

There may be other issues to address or there may be more to what you have already discussed. It may be helpful to review the questions above again.

Or they may have worked through their differences and are ready to move on. HOOray!




Print Friendly

No comments yet

Leave a Reply