5 Steps to Prevent Conflict

5 Steps to Prevent Conflict

1. View disagreements as an opportunity

Disagreements just mean other people have a different view to you. Instead of bringing out your judgmental side use disagreements as an opportunity to understand those differences.

Use curiosity to explore rather than judgment to blame them for not being you!
Understanding is the first step to building better relationships.

2. Be clear about what the problem is for you

Being assertive about what matters to you, why the issue is a problem and what you think / feel about it.

If it isn’t a problem, perhaps let it go.  You probably don’t really need to convince your old uncle to step into the 21st century.
But if it does matter avoid blame and focus on being clear about the impact of the problem on you to avoid inflaming the situation.

3. Listen to what the problem is for them

Don’t start debating them! Listen to their point of view on the area of disagreement or problem. Try to put yourself in their shoes.

If you were taught debating at school or have been taught positional negotiation as a lawyer or other role your first instinct will probably be to start trying to undermine them and make them feel stupid or wrong. Resist! 

Listen to what they think and what they share about what they feel.  You can acknowledge them and show empathy without you having to agree with them or feeling that they are justified in their beliefs or behaviour.  

Who knows. If you listen without judgement you might just find there are some valid points on their side as well. 

4. Solve problems. Don’t attack people.

Once you’ve explained the problem from your perspective and listened to their point of view, you may find that you can work with them to solve the problem. 

Much better than attacking each other and escalating into conflict. 

Working on the issues with an agreement that what matters to each of you is important is a great base for solving problems creatively.

5. Look for a collaborative, win-win solution.

Explore the options to resolve the problem together. Collaboration means you both get what you need so be clear about what you need from a resolution and be interested in what they need. You may find you have more similarities than differences when you are talking at that level rather than attacking each other.  Finding a solution to the problem that works for you both is a step towards peace, goodwill and respect in the relationship.  How good is that!

 

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5 Steps to…

by Joanne Law time to read: 2 min
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