Most conflicts arise out of communication difficulties so here are some starters:

  • Understand that conflict is normal and neutral, the choice you make in how you respond to it will determine if the conflict is perceived at negative or positive.

  • Slow down your response time, take a deep breath and let it out (it will give you time to think). Make sure you understand the concern before trying to respond to it. Notice I said respond not react.  Reaction is a response that does not engage your conscious brain in the process.

  • Get more information by asking open ended questions
    • Help me understand what you mean when you say….
    • Tell me more about what you are thinking.
    • Ask the question “what has changed?” if you used to get along.

  • Express your dissatisfaction with a situation by referring to how you feel rather than accusing the other party.
    • I feel (happy, sad, angry etc) when (describe the situation) because (the why part).
    • Acknowledge how the other person is feeling without passing judgment or excusing the emotion(I can see that you feel….)

  • Paraphrase what the other person has said and then ask if you got it right.

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