Over the last three weeks, we’ve covered the first three stages of the VOMP (Ventilation, Ownership, Moccasins, Plan) method for resolving conflicts. This week, we’ll discuss the final stage – the Plan.
The Plan is where you strive for, and commit to, a solution. The first three steps – Ventilation, Ownership, Moccasins – help improve mutual understanding and morale because people feel heard and understood. The plan then puts your work back on track.
In this step, your goal is two-fold:
- Ensure that things going forward will be different
- Discuss what each of you needs and wants, and is willing to do
- As you make a plan, keep in mind the ultimate goal is to move forward, even though not everyone will agree on all points.
Here are a few basic guidelines for the Planning stage:
- Be realistic: Don’t promise things you can’t or won’t do.
- Expect that both parties will slip up: No one is perfect and we all slip up. Be generous when mistakes happen.
- Prepare for future conflicts!
Mastering conflict resolution – and the VOMP process – doesn’t happen overnight. You will grow and develop your skills through practice, commitment, and motivation. The end result – achieving new levels of comfort and success in handling conflict – is well worth the effort.
Remember, healthy conflict is an integral part of every organization’s success. The effect of unhealthy conflict can be catastrophic because it disrupts effective work and morale. Likewise, healthy conflict can literally transform your workplace. It will ease tensions, and release new energy and creativity into your business as you seek mutually beneficial solutions.