Negotiate to Resolve Conflict Rather than Escalate the Issues

Disagreements occur on a daily basis in the business world. One of the most useful things you can learn as a business owner or manager is how to negotiate to resolve conflict. The better you are at conflict resolution, the better your business relationships will be. Here are some useful tips to help you with the process.

Engage in Open and Honest Discussions

Some managers prefer to avoid difficult conversations, hoping the matter will go away. Usually, that is not the case. In fact, even relatively minor disputes can escalate with a lack of discussion. Address a situation as soon as it happens. This will help to keep the problem from worsening.

Put Follow-Up Conversations in Writing

Verbal discussions are great for trying to resolve issues. Once the discussion is over, follow up the conversation by putting it in writing. An easy way to do this is with an email. Make sure that you cover all the points that were discussed. The written communication ensures that both parties are on the same page, and the email acts as a formal record of the agreement.

Use “Rule 408” to Protect Yourself

You may make concessions to try to settle.  If you do, you can protect your business against having those concessions used against you by writing, “This effort to resolve a dispute should be considered settlement discussions pursuant to Rule 408 of the Rules of Evidence.” That rule says that settlement discussions cannot be used as evidence (subject to some exceptions).

Step Back From Heated Discussions

When a disagreement becomes heated, neither party may be able to properly think things through. Avoid saying something that you don’t mean. It is best to walk away from the situation until you are able to calm down and think clearly. Also, going to your truck to look for something in your tool box to solve the dispute is always a bad idea.

Write Down the Important Points

Make a list of the important points that you want to discuss. This will help you keep the conversation on topic, and will make sure that you don’t forget essential details. It is also a good idea to take notes during your conversation. Use your notes as a basis for construct a plan to resolve the issues.

Listen to the Other Party

Disagreements often escalate because people try to force their own view rather than trying to understand the other person. Allow time to actually listen to the other party. Sometimes people simply need their point of view to be heard. Listening skills are an essential part of good negotiation practices.

Get Help from a Qualified Attorney

When disagreements are not easily resolved, it may be necessary to get help from an attorney with negotiating skills. Your lawyer will review your case and assist in negotiating a successful resolution to the problem. Contact the skilled legal team at Udall Shumway PLC for a consultation.

This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice regarding Negotiate to Resolve Conflict, or any other commercial litigation matters, please feel free to contact Joel E. Sannes at 480.461.5307, or log on to,  or contact an attorney in your area. Udall Shumway PLC is located in Mesa, Arizona and is a full service law firm. We assist Individuals, families, businesses, schools and municipalities in Mesa and the Phoenix/East Valley.