conflict resolution professional facilitatorAs you plan your next meeting, you are most likely focused on how the meeting will come to an efficient, useful consensus. To succeed, you need to have a strong understanding of how to avoid or address one possible roadblock – issue resolution.

Issue resolution is necessary because even the strongest team will disagree at some point. There are three types of disagreement to look for when planning or analyzing a meeting:

  1. Disagreements over information: They are not hearing each other. Just because someone is silent does not mean they are listening. Often they are too busy preparing their next response in the argument.
  2. They have different values or experiences: They have heard and understand the other person or side, but their differing backgrounds and/or values are preventing consensus.
  3. Outside factors: The disagreement has nothing to do with the opposing alternatives. Outside factors such as past personal history or outside disagreements can be the most difficult to resolve.

Many companies have systems in place for meetings to prevent disagreement, issues or arguments. But these confrontations still can and do happen. When they do, it can put a halt to a meeting, which results in wasting all the attendees’ time. Before your meeting starts or after a failed meeting, consider a Conflict Resolution Facilitator.


Why use a Conflict Resolution Facilitator rather than addressing disagreements on your own?

An Unbiased Party Can Delineate Alternatives

For those who have disagreements over information or have different values or experiences, delineating alternatives is the first recommended step. When people are not listening to the other’s alternative opinion, an unbiased party will bring listening to the forefront of the conversation, whereas a more biased leader might struggle to see past preconceived notions.

A Conflict Resolution Facilitator will start by identifying the agreement in the conversation. Next, they will confirm the disagreement among the group. By providing time for each alternative and asking the group specific questions, they will then confirm an understanding of each alternative by the group. With understanding could come consensus, which will become apparent by analyzing a shift in those who disagree.

Strengths and Weakness Are Clearly Outlined

In a polarized group, there is a very specific skillset and expertise to assess strengths and weaknesses. After delineating alternatives, analyzing strengths and weaknesses will help the group reach consensus when involved in the second type of disagreement (differing values and beliefs).

The key to analyzing strengths and weaknesses is to assess strengths of each alternative first. To begin down the path of resolution, a professional facilitator will assign someone from the opposing alternative to outline the strengths. Assigning each alternative a value can speed the process of minimizing weaknesses and focusing on reaching a consensus.

Merging Alternatives Requires Unique Tools

Once strengths and weaknesses are outlined, if a consensus is still out of reach, additional steps require unique tools that a Conflict Resolution Facilitator can provide. When analyzing the strengths of each alternative, he or she will often seek common ground within the strengths.

A professional facilitator can work to combine these strengths during the meeting and allow the group to understand those combinations. With new alternatives created by combining strengths, a professional facilitator will delineate the new alternatives to help the group reach a consensus.

Outside Factors May Need Consultation

If outside factors exist, they can be the biggest issue when trying to reach consensus. Sometimes it is difficult to understand that outside factors, instead of differing beliefs or lack of understanding, are the main problem. A professional facilitator can help determine that outside factors are where the disagreement is stemming from and recommend suggestions.

A disagreement created by outside factors does not need to be resolved within the current meeting. Instead, those involved should take a break. A higher source within the organization may need to intervene depending on the source of the disagreement.

To learn more about the seven consensus-building steps a Conflict Resolution Facilitator can bring to your next meeting, please contact us, chat us, or call us at 1-877-212-2361.