Lesson 8 – The Five-Step Process

The Five-Step Process

There are five easy steps to resolving any sort of conflict.

Step One: Determine your Involvement

The purpose of this step is to help you determine whether or not to say or do anything once you encounter a difficult person. Ask yourself four questions:

  • Is this person important to you?
  • Has this happened before?
  • Does this bother you or other people?
  • Can you invest your time?

Note: If you answered “No” to any of the four questions, it is recommended that you remove yourself from the situation, either temporarily or permanently.

Step Two: Understand the Other Person

The purpose of this step is to avoid making any negative impressions about someone before learning the facts. Ask open-ended questions that start with:

  • Who
  • What
  • When
  • Where
  • How

Once you learn the facts about the other person or the situation, you may decide not to get involved.

Step Three: Influence His or Her Attitude

The purpose of this step is to gain the other person’s agreement to change his/her attitude or behaviour. Here are three ways to influence them:

  • Describe how you or other people feel
  • Explain possible consequences
  • Suggest other ways to think about the problem

One of the quickest ways to lose credibility with someone is to threaten consequences you aren’t prepared to follow through with.

Step Four: Resolve the Problem

The purpose of this step is to:

  • Define your future expectations
  • Mutually discuss solutions
  • Agree upon the best solutions(s)

Step Five: Recover and Go On

The purpose of this step is to help you after the discussion. Once you have clarified the next steps, it is important to:

  • Regain your positive attitude
  • Follow through with commitments
  • Recognise any change the other person makes in his/her attitude