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Reset: A Framework for Rebooting Relationships

When conflict occurs in the workplace it can wreak havoc on productivity, relationships, and strongly impact personal wellbeing. There are many approaches to resolving conflict most of which attempt to remove emotion. It’s our belief that feelings and emotions play a critical role in both creating and resolving conflict.

Reset is a process that allows all of the “people” in a relationship to mend and move forward:

  • Person #1 and Person #2 are those involved in the conflict
  • Person #3 is the relationship between person #1 and Person #2
  • Person #4 is a facilitator whose role is to keep the discussion on track


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How does it work?

Reset is a tool that helps you to create a greater level of safety and structure for resolving conflict and rebooting relationships.

Step 1: Commitment to Curiosity
In order to begin this process, both parties must be committed to resolving the situation. Can you both agree to be curious and vulnerable? When you are curious, it’s impossible to be defensive – similar to your inability to sneeze with your eyes open – it can’t be done.

Step 2: Demonstration of Value
Start with acknowledgement. What do you both value about each other?

Step 3: My Story
In this step, each person has the opportunity to tell his or her story. The other person can only listen and take notes. Questions and defending are not allowed. It’s important to listen for words and tone, as well as read body language. You must accept this story as your colleague’s truth.

Step 4: Apologize
Reflect on the insight you now have into the other person’s reality and emotions. Whether you agree or not, each of you must accept the other’s story and apologize for how you impacted them.

Step 5: Forgive
You must each make a choice to forgive or not. Know that faking it does more harm than good. Offer and request forgiveness for the upset that was caused.

Step 6: Move Forward
What do you need from each other to move forward? Be clear and honest about what you require to feel resolution.

Step 7: Set Expectations
What commitments will each of you make as you move forward? Take what you learned in Step 6 and outline your plan and expectations. Work together to find solutions. Leaving things unresolved will only allow them to creep back up in the future causing reinjury to the mended relationship.

The role of facilitator should be filled by someone unrelated to the conflict. Ideally, the facilitator could be someone outside of your company, but should at least be someone outside of and unrelated to your team or department.

Resolving conflict ranks among the top challenges for most teams. Leaning on a resource like NuBrick Partners can help kick things off eliminating added tension, enhancing the Reset experience, creating structured outcomes, and setting your team on a path to accelerated performance.