Internally and externally, your MSP business is going to have conflict. Internal employees will have differing opinions on certain things, departments will have friction, and customers will commonly misunderstand services. Sometimes, those who have an issue will legitimately require you to consider what they’re bringing to the table. Sometimes, they’re going to be at the fringes of reason, and you’ll need to carefully control the emotion of those in management to avoid further issues.
Ways to Draw Benefit from Negative Situations
Just because you must necessarily contend with conflict does not mean it’s going to be a bad thing. It just means to find the silver lining will require direct effort. Following are three ways your MSP can secure positive results from otherwise impacting situations of conflict:
1. Prove Your Understanding of Opposing Viewpoints Through Respectful Summarization
When customers have an issue or employees do, it’s very tempting to just return the same energy they level at you. This will almost always stimulate further conflict. Answer with gentleness, and you can divert anger. But if you return fire on a contention harshly, then expect the issue to get even worse.
Strife manifests quick, and it’s like a dam breaking. So you want to avoid any contention before it gets momentum behind it. When you’re in a professional environment and conflict develops, wait for the other party to finish presenting their issue, then repeat it back to them in a neutral summary that shows respect. This helps them understand that they have successfully communicated their issue to you.
2. Clearly Define Your Viewpoint, and Couch It in Flexible Language
Something very important is for your MSP business to subsequently define your own viewpoint with all professional care. You want to communicate your counterpoint professionally, and put it in flexible language should it develop the person initiating conflict isn’t wrong. If they’re right, then doing so allows you to save face and secure the advantage of their advice. If they’re wrong, then your flexibility shows consideration regardless, which helps smooth over conflict and establish trust.
3. Frame Their and Your Viewpoint in Language That’s Positive
Whichever way the conflict goes, be sure to always frame both positions in the most positive language possible. This deescalates and clarifies where you’re coming from, and why. It can make compromise possible, it can help reveal the truth behind a misunderstanding, and it helps you save face if you are actually in the wrong. All around, such an approach can turn conflict into a trust-building opportunity.
Getting Good Out Of Uncomfortable Conflict
Your MSP business will have conflict. Develop a game plan from the outset. Restate opposing views with professional, kind, flexible clarity, do the same from your position, and frame all such interactions positively. Get the balance right, and though uncomfortable at first, the majority of conflicting situations will ultimately have positive outcomes.