We all experience conflicts in our day to day life but many don'y people know how to manage conflicts effectively. Thus in today's leadership lesson I will share with you 3 simple steps to manage conflicts like a leader.

We are never given any formal education to manage conflicts, we learn how to manage conflicts by observing our parents, friends, society, television and we learn from our own experiences.

Thus sometimes we are good at managing conflicts and at other times we are not good at it. Today we will learn 3 simple steps to manage conflicts like a leader, apply these 3 simple steps and i promise you instant improvement in your ability to manage conflicts.


Step 1: To Manage Conflicts Believe: Conflicts are Great for Growth

Ask yourself do you like it when you have a conflict with someone? I am sure your answer is NO! This means at a sub-conscious level you believe that Conflicts are Bad! But if you look at all the past experiences of your life, conflicts have always helped you become a better person, have better relationships, become a better professional and make better decisions. And yet due to our cultural conditioning most of us believe that conflicts are bad.

Now if I believe that conflicts are bad, then can I be great at managing conflicts? NO, Obviously not because I would do my best to avoid anything which I believe is bad, right!

Thus the very first step in managing conflicts like a leader is to believe that conflicts are great for growth. This very minute i want you to close your eyes, keep your right hand on your hand and repeat this 5 times with me:

  1. ​Conflicts are Great for Growth!
  2. Conflicts are Great for Growth!
  3. Conflicts are Great for Growth!
  4. Conflicts are Great for Growth!
  5. Conflicts are Great for Growth!

Now when you face conflicts, your subconscious mind will be creative and will help you managing conflicts more effectively.

Step 2: Analyze the Mismatch in Expectations to Manage Conflicts

The fundamental root cause of all conflicts in the world is mismatch of expectations. For an example if you have a conflict with your Boss about staying late in the office, the root cause is the mismatch of expectations. You expect to have a life of balance and go home early whereas your Boss expects you to focus more on your professional life than your personal life. Whenever we have such mismatch of expectations with people, it is natural to experience conflicts.

In order to resolve conflicts you must analyze quickly: what's the mismatch of expectation between you and the person? What are your expectations? What is their expectations? Analyze this because to resolve the conflict you must get to its root cause. Once you have analyzed the root cause, the mismatch of expectations then you can execute the final step to resolve the conflict...

Step 3: Think for a Win-Win Solution to Manage Conflicts like a Leader

OK, you believe conflicts are great for growth, you have analysed what's the mismatch of expectations, now you just need to think of a win-win solution. Most conflicts are prolonged and don't get resolved because most of us try to get a Win-Lose solution. Now imagine if two people are trying to make each other lose, then the fight can go on for a long time right! And even though one may win by force, the other person will soon come back with a vengeance. So the conflict is not really resolved!

The best way to resolve a conflict is to think of a win-win solution, where both the parties could meet their expectations as much as possible. This is not always easy but its definitely possible, lets take a very simple example of shopping.

When you are shopping and negotiating in a shop you may have a conflict with the shop-keeper about the cost of your desired product. Let's say you liked a shirt worth Rs 2000 and you are asking for a price of Rs 1000 whereas the shop keeper is offering Rs 1500.

Trying to get a Win-Lose would be to somehow get the shirt at Rs 1000 because we want to get the best price even though the shopkeeper may not make enough money. A Win-Win solution here would be to happily buy at Rs 1500 so that while you get some discount, the shopkeeper also makes a decent amount of profit.

But most people want to win at the cost of making other people lose. This mindset is very bad for conflict management skills because when you try to play a win-lose game you are only making enemies not friends. We all expect something from each other, if you really want to be great at managing conflicts then you must develop the mindset of thinking win-win.


Ask yourself which was the last conflict you did not resolve effectively. You will realize that either you were running away from the conflict because you believed conflicts are bad or because you did not analyze the root cause of that conflict: the mismatch of expectations or you did not think of a win-win solution.

Now imagine a time where you were did resolve a conflict successful. I can assure you that you were not running away from that conflict and thus you were able to manage it. I can also assure you that you did analyze the mismatch of expectations and then looked for a win-win solution. I am sure you were able to resolve your conflict because you executed all these 3 steps to manage conflicts like a leader. Because these 3 simple steps are the fundamentals of conflict management.

Use them consciously now and after you resolve some conflicts successfully, do post your comments on this blog to encourage others and also to encourage me to keep writing these life leadership lessons.

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Take care and be a great Conflict Manager 🙂


Mitesh Khatri

Leadership Trainer & Best-Selling Author


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