Carol Barkes, CPM, MBA, is a conflict resolution expert, mediator, national speaker, educator and bestselling author who uniquely applies neuroscience to the fields of conflict resolution and negotiations. Her expert perspective is always fresh and relevant.
about Resolving Disputes Remotely:
Mediating conflict between virtual teams is largely about the brain and our natural tendency to go negative when we cannot connect all the dots. In other words, when we are not fully involved with other team members and something goes wrong, we typically find negative reasons for the occurrence.
HOW TO best resolve conflicts
Parties can do the following things:
- Suspend judgment because it is likely reactionary and not fully developed.
- Get all the dots connected—become inquisitive rather than judgmental. Look for the disconnects and look to understand rather than judge.
- Ask to have a meeting and discuss perceptions. This can be the fastest way to uncover misunderstandings and get all parties realigned.
- Use the benefit of the doubt. When all dots don’t connect, understand your brain typically goes to a negative plot twist rather than to a positive assumption. Recognize your brain’s tendency and create more opportunities to clear up these plot twists and misunderstandings. Know that your brain’s creation is likely significantly more negative than the reality.
- Remember we are all on the same team regardless of our location. Voice concerns about fairness, uncertainty and status. Don’t hold information in. You are likely working off biases.
- Consider having an outside conflict resolution specialist mediate the conflict. It is much easier for an outside party to identify problems which hold the organization and team from moving forward.
Interviews: Carol Barkes
Carol Barkes, CPM, MBA, is a trend-setting mediator, business executive and educator specializing in the use of neuroscience to improve business performance, interpersonal communications, negotiation and conflict resolution processes for optimally successful results. She is also a speaker, educator, and author of the bestselling book: Success Breakthroughs: Leading Entrepreneurs and Professionals Reveal Their Secrets for Breaking Through to Success.
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