Conflict Happens

conflictYou are in a people business. You are dealing with many different types of personalities on a daily basis. Conflicts will happen. 

The important thing is how you deal with them when they do. If you are the type of person who tends to blow up during a conflict, here are some suggestions to keep you calm:  breathe, whisper, unclench your hands, count to 10, lie down to compose yourself, give yourself 24 hrs. to respond.  If you tend to avoid conflict, you can:  write down what you want to say and what results you might expect both positive and negative, try to understand that you cannot control another person's reaction or behavior you can only control your own, but be sure to accept and understand your part in the disagreement.

It is important to "say what you mean, mean what you say,  don't be mean when you say it".  It always helps to come from the position of "I" not "you".  Something like, "I am having trouble with understanding your point."  rather than "You don't know what you're talking about." In conflict, both sides believe their side to be their truth, so continue to listen to what they have to say. It is their truth! It is easier to swallow that you each believe something differently than to be told you are wrong.

When  you encounter a sudden, unexpected conflict, try to breathe, ask questions, don't yell or cry, communicate in a calm firm voice without attacking or avoiding the problem, modulate your voice so that they have to lean in to hear you.

Remember that the person who loses control, loses.

Do not be afraid to ask for time to contemplate the situation, don't let yourself be pressured into a response or decision that you are not ready to give. Your goal is to turn this conflict into a win/win situation where everyone gets some of what they want and is left feeling satisfied.

Develop key responses to use in difficult situations conflicts can happen by email, text, on the phone, on social media, in person and in front of a group.  The intricacies of how you respond may be specific to each situation, but you can think in advance of some general ways to respond. If someone writes a nasty post on your Facebook page, you may want to simply delete it and forget about it.  If they send you a not nice text, you may want to call them and say that a text came through from them but it was difficult to read and you thought it would be better if you talked.  If someone tries to embarrass you in front of a group, you might want to ask if you could speak to them alone for a minute. Being prepared for uncomfortable situations, makes them easier to handle when they come up, and they will come up.

Practice your response on someone you trust: a coach, friend or business associate. Role Play. Bounce it off a trusted source. Often, the trial run of your response will help you see clearly what you want to communicate.



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