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Using Cloverleaf To Navigate Conflict
Using Cloverleaf To Navigate Conflict

How to utilize Cloverleaf and its tools to effectively navigate and overcome challenging conflicts.

Evan Doyle avatar
Written by Evan Doyle
Updated over a week ago


When navigating conflict, your coaching insights are a wealth of knowledge to help resolve challenges in the workplace.

  1. Review conflict triggers of the individual you are experiencing conflict with or with the individuals you are trying to mitigate conflict. Ask yourself:

    1. What about their triggers wasn’t I aware of, and what could I have done or do differently in the future to stop conflict in its tracks?

  2. Consider the following prompts in insight search depending on the source of the conflict:

    1. How can I approach a difficult conversation with __________?

    2. What is the best way to problem solve with ___________?

    3. How does _____________ like to be communicated with?

    4. What helps ______________ do their best work?

    5. What does_________ appreciate about others?

Team Thinking Styles + Conflict (i.e., which assessment to consider for which type of conflict)

Consider 16 Types Comparison when the conflict is centered around: Different work styles or approaches to tasks and projects, differing personal communication styles, and differing ways of organizing information.

Consider DISC Comparison when the conflict is centered around: Prioritizing aspects of a project when weaknesses in certain operational areas cause a lack of focus, work or initiatives derail, and there is a lack of collaboration.

Consider Enneagram Comparison when the conflict is centered around: Lack of understanding of individual perspective, value, and motivation, when there is a differing approach to decision-making, and when the conflict is preventing an important decision from being made.

Navigating Conflict with You And Another Person

  1. Consider your assumptions about this person. Are you open to challenging them?

  2. Schedule time for yourself to prepare for a conversation that seeks to resolve the conflict.

  3. Use the necessary team thinking styles comparison and ask yourself (and take notes!):

    1. What differences do we have that could be the source of the conflict?

    2. What similarities can help us get back on track?

  4. Use the prompts guide earlier in this article to ask tailored questions about the individual you are trying to resolve conflict with.

  5. Given what you have learned about this person from #3 and #4, what would be your best conversation opener?

  6. Invite the person to a conversation or, depending on what you learn, reach out to the person in real-time to speak.

Navigating Conflict Between Two People

This is where you can teach and coach people how to approach conflict! If you are trying to support conflict resolution between two people before they get too distracted by their own interpretations of the person or the situation, we want to try to interrupt that by leveraging Cloverleaf.

When someone comes to you with a situation that involves conflict with themselves and another person:

  1. Listen to the background information.

  2. Invite the person to do some reflection before talking about strategy. This is important! Many people like fixing the problem for others, which becomes a bandaid. It is much more valuable to invite the person to think independently and design an approach to the resolution.

  3. Give them the exercise from the above section and ask them to meet with you a few days later with some thoughts from the exercise.

  4. In that second conversation, ask:

    1. What did you learn about yourself and __________ as a result of that exercise?

    2. What do you think is the best way forward with ____________?

    3. How can I support you in navigating that conversation?

  5. As much as possible, you want to empower that person to resolve the conflict 1-1 with the other person. This is a valuable skill for people to hone, no matter how uncomfortable it is! Often, people are more consumed by the fear of the conversation itself and find out it's not as bad as they thought!

Enneagram for Conflict Resolution: Triad Spotlight

The Enneagram Content within Cloverleaf can be extremely insightful to understand how different people approach situations, where their strengths lie, and what some of their blindspots are.

And if you are NOT in a particular Enneagram Triad, you can understand how to approach people in different triads in a way that resonates with them.

For a deeper dive into Enneagram triads, click here.

The Gut Triad (8s, 9s and 1s)

  • Value freedom, fairness, and independence; prefers autonomy rather than others dictating their decisions.

  • May have strong emotional responses; teammates should help redirect their passion where it can create results.

  • When navigating conflict with an 8, 9, or 1, introduce the conversation for resolution through open discussion rather than forcing it.

For example, you might open up with: “I know that we don’t see eye to eye on__________. I’d really like to understand your perspective and share mine as well. Would you be open to that?”

The Head Triad (5s, 6s, 7s)

  • Make decisions via thorough analysis, sometimes to a fault. This analysis can enable them to strategize and act confidently as they do their homework.

  • Passionate when they believe in something - Very observant, collecting the most up-to-date data and information. May hesitate due to assumed risk; can get stuck in analysis paralysis.

  • When navigating conflict with 5s, 6s, and 7s, come with clear information and facts about the situation at hand. They also want to feel safe and secure; conflict can disrupt this need.

You might open up with: “I know we haven’t been able to come to a mutual understanding about______, would you be open to helping me understand your thinking on this so we can find common ground?”

The Heart Triad (2s, 3s, 4s)

  • Responds to circumstances and the world from their feelings.

  • High emotional and social intelligence; they sense underlying relational patterns.

  • Highly intuitive; bring empathy and compassion to situations and teams; appreciates their wins and accomplishments to be acknowledged.

  • When navigating conflict with 2s, 3s, and 4s, we want to focus on the relationship and its importance. Because those in the heart triad are feelings-focused, we want to tap into this part of them to get alignment on conflict resolution.

You might open up with: “It is important to me that we have a positive working relationship. I know that __________is a source of conflict for us. Can we work together to find a way forward?”

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