How PMs can resolve conflict with collaborative communication?

Conflict is a blessing in disguise if we know how to manage it. We should aim to tactically steer it & leverage it to empower our learning. Collaborative communication is a simple yet effective framework developed by Marshall Rosenberg to resolve conflict. Its name indicates that our listening and speaking practices are particularly important when we experience conflict, and it suggests that true conflict resolution is only possible when we are able to skip blame games & develop compassion for the other person and ourselves. It is therefore also called compassionate communication.

Collaborative communication consists of the following 4 components:

Rosenberg (2015) recommends using the following template when applying the above-mentioned framework.

Top 5 ways to address conflict effectively

  • Forgive enthusiastically
    This helps to ensure that you are not clinging to the nitty-gritty of the conflict and rather keen to move ahead with the aim to resolve the conflict.
  • Be humble and ask for forgiveness
    It’s key to not allow your ego to become a roadblock in conflict resolution & be humble about your own mistakes and quickly own them. Having the courage to confess to your mistakes and apologize to the other person depicts a mature character.
  • Communicate observation factually
    Often we get blinded by our own judgment or preconceived notions so it is imperative to separate objective observations from any evaluations, judgments, or criticism when explaining the situation.
  • Inspect underlying feelings
    It’s advised to explore the feelings that are present and connect them to underlying, unmet needs. This builds trust and understanding; it makes it possible to address the root cause of the conflict and to prevent it from erupting again.

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