The “ASS²” Method of Resolving Conflict.

ASS2 Method
Yep, you read that right – ASS “squared”.  I’m tired from a busy two weeks after vacation and I’m feeling cheeky.  I also met a Canadian guy while on vacation that owned a donkey in Albania named Richard (it’s a long story).  It’s my blog and I’ll swear if I want to.  I also hate mnemonic sayings that you forget.  You will never forget the ASS2

As consultants, Ruth and I recommend a lot of different things to a lot of different people. We see some recurring themes.  One of them is:

How do I deal with difficult situations at work?

I’m an avid conflict avoider.  My natural instincts are to apologize profusely, take all necessary actions to avoid said conflict again, and cry privately while staring at myself in the bathroom mirror. Not really a great coping mechanism.

The better option is to calm your emotions and deal with the issue as soon as you can.  Organizations large and small, public and private are all subject to workplace conflict.  Differing personalities, competition, cultures, work styles, thinking styles, communication styles, and lack of clarity in roles and responsibilities are all potential sources for conflict in the workplace.  When you confront your conflict, or have someone confront you – use the ASS2 method.

6 Tips to Resolving Conflict

  1. Actively Listen: Use silence, nod, maintain eye contact, show open body language, and use kindness and curiosity to probe for more info.

“Tell me more?”

“Help me understand!”

  1. Say it back: Repeat what you heard in your own words.

“It sounds like the tone of my email really upset you.”

“Let me try to paraphrase. You are unclear where your role ends and mine begins?”

  1. Sympathize: Show your genuine concern for their emotions.

“I can see how that would make you feel.”

“I understand your frustration with this situation.”

  1. Appreciate: Thank them for confronting you or for taking the time to hear your concerns.

“I appreciate you bringing this up to me.”

“Thanks for being so open to hear my concerns.”

  1. Sum up your Options: Allow some discussion to analyze the situation.

“Let’s talk about how we move forward from here.”

“Let’s consider the options.”

  1. Solve: Create a solution that results in benefits for both parties.

“Can we both try to….?”

“Perhaps to mitigate the risk of this occurring again, we can….”

Conflict Resolution

Confronting conflict is not easy.  Hearing constructive feedback from a team member, peer, or leader is equally difficult. Respect one another’s feelings and emotions. Not treating one another with respect makes you the square root of ASS2 (a bit of an ASS).

Having trouble with a team member, peer, or leader in your organization?  Contact us to learn more about resolving conflicts in the workplace in the best way possible. Tell us what you think of the ASS2 method and what your results were if you tried it out.

In the meantime I’m going to spend some time thinking of more shocking yet amusing mnemonics for you readers in hopes of you having a laugh while learning.

Until Next Time,