Conflict is part of life.
First and Foremost!
- Take 10 seconds before reacting—or responding. Often when we are broadsided with deep contrast we have knee jerk reactions…much of which comes from a defensive position.
- Learn to breathe deeply for at least 3 deep breathes before saying any word at all.
- Gather yourself and compose your thoughts about what you just heard, saw or experienced.
- Remember and Realize….
* How you respond sets the tone for an ugly or nicer interaction.
* Reactions arise from learned behaviors –which can be changed.
* People would act better if they knew how to – so help show them!
* Acknowledge that everyone has different ways to cope with stress.
* And every interaction is a new opportunity for YOU to learn from another.
3 Ways to Respond to Conflict
- When you are provoked, you are being asked to respond. However, you do not have to! If you know the current situation is unhealthy, tell your combatant: “I can see you are upset. Now is not the time to discuss this situation. Let’s chat when we are both able to listen to each other.”
- Tell someone who continues to argue: “This discussion is off limits. We will resolve this later.” Then change the subject and move forward.
- If the interactions escalate, do not respond. Do not get the last word in. Walk away. Let your body language talk. Leave the scene and stop further distress.
During a Conflict > Create Cooperation!
- Agree to disagree. Use the misunderstanding to find common ground.
- Use empathy to understand another person’s viewpoint and expand your awareness.
- Make “I” statements. State how someone’s behavior affects you. Do not blame. Offer resolutions instead. And ask for input. This helps build reciprocal empowerment.
- Humor rarely helps in conflict situations. It often aggravates and inflames. Use empathy to connect with another who is upset.
- Seek to understand. Paraphrase another person’s words. This shows you acknowledge their concerns.
- Be proactive and positive in selecting your words and when using your body language.
- Learn passive aggressive behavior ques, so you will know how to navigate challenging conversations. Passive aggression is a common communication maneuver to gain control.
Use Conflict to Learn & Grow!
Remember conflicts are not about who is right or wrong. Conflicts arise because of our perception gives rise to judging another person or situation. Often when we know all the facts, or gather more information we learn our viewpoint may stand to be corrected.
Use the contrast of conflict to seek how another person thinks, perceives and reacts. Use these moments as a springboard to understand more about interpersonal communication behavior. In doing so, conflicts will teach you how to respond, react and resolve conflict successfully!
Related Communication Guidebooks that Help!
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