“Being in control of your life and having realistic expectations about your day-to-day challenges are the keys to stress management, which is perhaps the most important ingredient to living a happy, healthy and rewarding life.” Marilu Henner
What is a conflict? Well, according to The Free Dictionary, a conflict is a state of disharmony between incompatible or antithetical persons, ideas, or interests; a clash.
Due to the fact that we live in a world full of diversity, a world where we are all very complex and different, where most of us love to have a sense of ownership and control over the things happening in our lives, would you agree a good set of conflict management skills would come in handy?
As you know, dealing with conflicts is not always easy, that is why I have put up a list of simple techniques to help make a big difference in the way you perceive the “enemy” and in the way you can deal with all the challenging people and challenging situations.
Simple Ways Of Dealing With Conflict
1. Silence is gold – Listen more, speak less
Listen first and then ask questions to demonstrate you are sincerely interested. Make sure you repeat what they said or provide a summary or highlights of his or her communication. Re-statements show you really heard and understood what was said, and now you can work together on outgrowing the challenge by giving one another what is needed.
Usually, when people are “trying” to manage a conflict they want to talk as much as they can about how they feel, and because of that, the parties involved in the conflict will rarely allow each other to share what they have to share and really listen to what the other person is saying. It is like giving a speech without really trying to understand how the whole situation looks like from the other end. Learn to be quiet, learn to be an active listener and respect what the other person has to say.
“Effective listening is more than simply avoiding the bad habit of interrupting others while they are speaking or finishing their sentences. It’s being content to listen to the entire thought of someone rather than waiting impatiently for your chance to respond.” Richard Carlson
2. Seek first to understand and then to be understood
Make sure you verify whether both of you understand the communication. By doing so, you show you sincerely want to understand what the other person is saying, and it matters to you if the information you have is accurate.
The first reaction we have whenever somebody is acting in a way we don’t enjoy or whenever something is not going the way we planned, is to talk about how WE feel and to talk about how hurt WE are.
We become so blinded by our own emotions and reactions we forget we are not the only ones who might be hurt by what has happened and by what might still be happening. It’s so important to acknowledge this because if you don’t step out of your own shoes into to other person’s shoes, chances are frustration will persist and you will continue to feel attacked and assume the victim role.
Seek first to understand and then to be understood, get interested in how they feel and work on seeing their point of view as this will help you solve the situation. It will also allow you to maintain a good relationship with this person. If you think you’re hurting, chances are the other person is hurting as well.
“Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive.” ~ Dalai Lama
3. Don’t sweat the small stuff
Even though it may seem like the end of the world because of the stuff that you are going through right now, know that it’s not. It will all come to an end sooner or later and you will get over whatever it is you are going through. It will all be fine and there will be a day when you’ll look back at this moment and laugh. Since you know how things will turn out, why not start laughing now and be done with it?
“Don’t let your mind bully your body into believing it must carry the burden of its worries.” Astrid Alauda
at 1:42 pm
good message. I have recently encountered a work conflict that after a 3 hr meeting and lots of listening on my part (and not being able to speak up to defend a thing that was said against me ) as the facilitator would not allow it………..MY listening allowed me to see that halfway into the meeting or ‘bashing’ as it was (skewed perceptions and twisted stories—part true and part her reality ) I HEARD the moment and felt the moment when I knew I was going to leave this organization…………I cont’d for another month calmly and kindly…….leaving on my own terms from a very unhealthy process to deal with conflict. learning to listen as well as continuing to work on my self reflection and changing what i can is so empowering!
at 1:39 am
Rita, you can do so by sending me a private message here or on the Facebook Community Page – private message 🙂
at 3:03 pm
Wish there were a way to contact you directly, as I have a question for you that I would rather not post publicly.
at 10:53 am
Thank you for this article. Yes, this is exactly what I do and encourage others to follow these simple rules. Once again, thanks and have a great blessed week.
at 6:43 am
conflict is a combination of ego and being attached to it. it means that your ego is ruling you and not the other way around. As Ghandi said: an eye for an eye and the world will go blind. There is no wisdom in conflict, it is pure ignorance. The trick of a conflict: only one has to stop trying to be right! You do not even have to gree, just stop to convince the other that you are. And perhaps even it will turn out in the future that you weren’t 🙂
Janis du Pratte
at 4:33 am
Conflict is often the result of our attaching meaning or an interpretation to what the other person said or did. When we are clear about our perspective we can ask “Is it really true — or maybe not?” Could we interpret the act differently. If we took the high road and made the best possible assumption about the other person, what would we see? If we do not let ourselves gett hooked, we are able to access curiosity and check it out. The challenge is our emotional reactions are often so lightening fast, we don’t see that our feelings were generated by our interpretation — not what he other person did or said. When I notice a bad feeling, I hit the pause button and ask myself “What just happened and what did I make that mean? Is it possible that I am wrong? What question might I ask?”
at 8:15 pm
Great article! Thank you for the reminder! (This is the essence of what I learned in marriage counseling….TRUE communication.)
I’m also coming to find that a great many of my misunderstandings and pain are often simply that… misunderstandings and unrealistic expectations of myself, the other person, and the situation. *Really* listening and considering what is said allows you to find where your expectations need to be adjusted to be realistic and helps clear up misunderstandings – and lowers the chances of new misunderstandings. You can’t take your thoughts from your brain the way you understand them and plant them directly into the other person’s head so they’ll immediately understand everything you have to say and why you’re saying it. But really, truly hearing someone and considering it, then offering thoughtful feedback and true communication…that’s the closest we can get. 🙂
Thank you for the article! 🙂
at 8:04 pm
Just we need to see the world from a different perspective, with a new view, view of fun, interacting in a friendly manner with all, with challenging people too, Just make fun and laugh……….good stuff!! Thanks
at 4:03 pm
This is great, all very much what I have found out already but still struggle with putting into practice in everyday life situations. Especially the listening first! I am going to make more of a conscious effort from now on. Good advice x