Assess the Situation
When you’re faced with a specific situation, there are four things to do to assess the scenario at hand before taking action—
understand your counterpart;
identify the type of conflict you’re facing;
consider the organizational context;
determine your goal
The first time you analyze a conflict using these four steps it will take some time, but eventually the analysis will get easier. The goal is to be able to quickly do these steps in your head whenever a disagreement arises.
Understand Your Counterpart
First, consider whom you’re dealing with. Is he a conflict seeker or avoider? How does he typically communicate and how does he prefer to be communicated with?
Whether or not you know your counterpart well, play the role of observer to know more about the other person.
Get input from others
In addition to examining your counterpart’s behavior,you might ask a colleague or two for input. Don’t go around grilling others about him, but ask people to confirm or deny your observations
It’s not always advisable to come out and ask: “How do you like to address conflict?
If you come up empty-handed
If your digging doesn’t turn up adequate information, all is not lost. Although it helps, having this information is not a prerequisite to a productive conversation.