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Conflict: Deal with it!

– By Andrew B Morris

  1. The Academy has a term called a ‘NO FESTER ZONE’ meaning that as soon as a potential misunderstanding emerges, it is tackled immediately. If it’s allowed to fester it will just grow and become a bigger problem to deal with.
  1. AVOID JUDGEMENT: If you have an issue with someone, sit down in a quiet space and present the facts to them in a non-confrontational manner, starting with what’s working well and then moving onto what isn’t. It’s critical to remain non-judgemental, stating how you’re feeling first and then supporting this with the facts of what’s occurred as you see them. For example: “I’m feeling confused and frustrated… because I don’t understand the unusual behaviour you displayed at the sales meeting.”
  1. LISTEN AND EMPATHISE: Allow them to respond, without interruption, putting yourself in their shoes. Ask open questions so they don’t become defensive. This way you can start to get to the real heart of the problem.

  1. KEEP HOLD OF YOUR VALUES: Remind yourselves of the organisation’s values and expected cultural behaviours to reach a solution, compromising if necessary, without losing sight of the outcome you’re seeking. Make it a joint decision.
  1. BE CLEAR ABOUT THE OUTCOME: Replay the agreed action and agree to review this at a time and place that suits both parties. BUT be clear that if the same situation reoccurs there will be consequences.


Andrew B Morris

Andrew B Morris

Andrew B Morris is Chief Executive of the Academy for Chief Executives, helping businesses to accelerate growth through better leadership.  Andrew describes himself as a creative businessman, who enjoys meeting people from all facets of life. His mantra is ‘take your job seriously, but not yourself.’

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