Last week, we discussed a few personal recommendations to solve problems, but one important aspect to consider when managing conflict-resolution is how you collaborate with others to find solutions. Here are my top recommendations on how to involve others in your quest to be a master decision-maker:

Team Up

Having a go-to team of people to bounce ideas off of is crucial. Co-workers, mentors, coaches, even significant others sometimes, can make great collaboration partners to talk out your issue and validate your solution. Does your solution sound correct? Once you hear it out loud, you might notice things that you didn’t notice in your head. Always seek out people that are especially resourceful in that topic and nurture your relationships with them. This way, they will always be available when you need to bounce ideas around.

To go with a football analogy (is anyone else so ready for football season to start??): Huddle up, communicate what the play is going to be and don’t be afraid to ask dumb questions. Many times a lot of people are thinking about that dumb question, but are too afraid to ask.

Sharing your thoughts with someone else in your team can either prove you have already figured out the best solution or gives you a better answer.

Play On The Same Team

Email wars, screaming matches, abandoned work posts don’t appear suddenly. They build over time from ignored hints, lack of trust and unanswered requests.

Before the coffee mugs are flying across the meeting room, confront issues and resolve the issue with a calm and honest conversation as soon as possible. It doesn’t matter if the issue is with a superior, a client or a supplier, we have to remember that it’s us against the issue, not against each other.

Be solution-focused and leave the personal finger-pointing for when you’re talking to yourself in the shower (you know you do it).

When in doubt, always resort to respect. Every person in the world will respond positively to respect. If tempers are heated, try to extinguish the emotions or even flipping sides so people feel justified in their emotions and calm down. Being respectful and empathetic can go a long way toward understanding others’ viewpoints.

Build A Conflict-Resolution Culture

Problems are basically math exercises. There’s always a right answer and incorrect answers, but there might be several ways to get to that right answer. Seek out resources that work for your team and make these available to them at all times. Invest in your team’s conflict-resolution skills. Remember that the more they know, the more empowered they will be to solve issues independently and less they will need you.

Check out my episode on the Dr. Jaime Show on Finding Solutions for Success for more tips on making decisions and solving issues.