3 steps to resolve conflict with someone.
by Carolann PhilipsRepair, build, and restore the relationship with a person you are in conflict with.
Many would agree that there are few things that are more difficult than addressing conflict. People can seldom agree on everything all the time. But disagreement is one thing, and conflict is another. Conflict is about either or both parties perceiving a threat from the other which may or may not be real. While there are a few who are comfortable dealing with conflict, and perhaps even relish it, the majority of us prefer to ignore it if we have a choice. However, addressing conflict is the only way to resolve it. Knowing how to resolve a conflict is vital for relationship building and is fundamental to personal as well as professional success. Assuming that you appreciate, and would like to repair, build, and restore the relationship with a person you are in conflict with, here is a simple 3 step process you could use in an attempt to address conflict. Step 1: State the expected future
"Tina, I'd really like to be able to enjoy our time together at parties without feeling ignored. Do you think we could talk?" (Ensure your body language is positive and your emotions are in check. Be calm and breathe slowly. Keep your voice even and firm.) Step 2: Clearly state your concerns "When I greeted you at the 'ladies event' yesterday, you moved away without giving me a look. At the buffet, I came over and enquired with you about the arrangements for next week, and you just walked away without responding. This makes me think that you are ignoring me and I feel hurt and confused. What do you think about what I've shared?" (Listen to what the other person has to say. Chances are that they will explain their actions and say that they didn't mean to make you feel that way.) Step 3: Summarise what was said; re-state the expected future "So what you're saying is that you didn't hear me greet you. And you were busy with serving food and so didn't respond at the buffet. I'm glad I clarified this. I can now feel comfortable coming at our events without thinking that you are ignoring me. Thanks for clearing this up." Of course, there are other possibilities. What if Tina really did mean to sideline you and make you feel ignored; and there was really no justification for her actions? Well, if that's the case, she's now bound to be cautious and will think twice about doing something like that again in the next event since you have confronted him with the issue. What if Tina gets defensive and tells you that you are over thinking or over reacting? Well, in that case say something like, "So what you're saying is that it wasn't your intention to ignore me. It's just my perception. I'm glad I clarified this. I can now stop thinking that you ignore me." Regardless of the outcome, taking steps to resolve conflict with someone opens up communication makes you feel better inside, and more importantly diffuses an otherwise potentially toxic situation. Carolann Philips is an award winning, certified management coach and organisational development coach based in Oman. She is also a talent developer, etiquette, and protocol consultant. She specialises in behavioural skill development and professional performance enhancement.
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