Conflict Resolution in Medicine Hat
Conflict Resolution Tips From A Mediator
“Can’t we all just get along?” As nice as this sentiment may be, as emotional beings, it is normal to get into conflicts from time to time. Before things get too heated, there are some things that you can do to diffuse the situation. Today, I am going over some of the best tips for resolving conflict.
- Take a Breather
When dealing high stressful situations, it may be a good idea to take a break. If possible walk away and take a deep breathe to calm yourself down. Here are a couple ideas to consider when taking a break. Tell the other person that you are becoming upset and the reasons why you are getting upset. Doing this will give yourself an “out” , but more importantly you are respecting the other party by telling them your point of view. Don’t just leave in a “huff”; that is not helpful to anyone. By showing a willingness to be respectful, you are keeping a door open.
- Look at the Other Side
Most conflicts arise because of differing points of view. When you find yourself in a conflict situation it is a good idea to step back and try to look at the situation from an alternative angle. Not as easy as it sounds. However, the more your emotions are controlled; the more you will be able to look for alternatives. This doesn’t mean changing your stance but instead trying to understand where the other person is coming from. This can help to diffuse the situation and move the discussion to a more neutral point where a compromise may be found.
- Observe Body Language and Non-Verbal Communication
Even if you are not speaking, body language (non-verbal communication) can come into play. For this reason when you find yourself in a conflict, it is a good idea to be aware of facial expressions and body gestures that you may be making. There is lots of information on this on the internet. The trick getting comfortable using “neutral” physical expressions, even though you may be feeling anxiety, during emotional times. Pay attention to the body language of others as well. It may guide how you express yourself.
- Don’t Throw Fuel on The Fire
In intense debates or admit arguments, people can say things that later end up regretting. If you find yourself in a conflict situation be weary of what you do and say. Stick to the topic at hand and do not bring up old arguments or issues that are not related to the immediate debate. Events of from the past are just that; the past. You don’t have to “forgive”, but you do need to “accept” that they occurred. If at all possible keep your temperament calm and monitor your emotional state. If you find yourself getting angry try to walk away before you begin throwing insults or personally attacking the other individual. Give yourself permission to move forward.
- Practice Empathy
Empathy can not be confused with sympathy or even forgiveness. Being empathis means striving to “understand” the emotions, point of view and paradigm of others. Demonstrating understanding towards the other person is very helpful during conflict situations. Showing empathy will help you better navigate the situation and ultimately find a feasible compromise. Empathy is also a way to show integrity and awareness about the emotional impact of the conflict. Being empathetic can be a very powerful tool to encourage helpful and productive conversations. You don’t always have to agree; but you do need to understand the situation.
- Own Your Side 0f the Conflict
If you have in some way caused the conflict, you can more quickly find a resolution by owning your actions and behaviors. This means that you have to be candid about your role and explain your own position. Taking responsibility can help the conversation progress. This is something that is recommended for all parties involved in an argument. You may be surprised how accepting your own responsibility for the situation can really move the conversation forward. Often during conflicts, that is one important statement that one side needs to hear; that the other party is taking their share of the responsibility. Accepting responsibility is not a sign of weakness.
- Be Willing To Compromise
One of the main reasons why many conflicts never get resolved is because of a lack of willingness to compromise from both parties. For this reason if you want the conflict to resolve itself quickly, you have to be willing to compromise to some extent. Stubbornness can extend the length of time an argument continues. It can also draw out the healing process and prevent individuals from moving on. In any conflict situation it is wise to keep an open mind and a willingness to meet in the middle. On this point, I often remind clients, that during a mediation clients are in total control of the resolution. Once entering litigation, that control is greatly reduced. Ask yourself; “Am I totally fine with giving a third party the power to make decisions for me?” Remember, you may not like the decision.
- Ask yourself some good (hard) questions
Asking yourself questions that require honest answers is a good place to start. Such questions could be:
- What can I really expect to get out of this?
- Can this realistically happen?
- What am I really angry about?
- What issue do I really need to resolve?
- What do I need? not what do I want?
- How am I responsible (at least in part) to this conflict?
Answers to these questions may be difficult and time consuming…….but they will be valuable. Just by taking the time to ask yourself these types of questions, you will be re-focusing yourself and possibly re-framing the conflict towards a totally different way. You will be starting to come to some type of resolution.
In a perfect world we would all be able to go about our business with no conflict at all. Because people are so different, with various world views and perspectives differences in opinion are bound to come up. Emotions are often what make these differences of opinion so stressful. The more control that you can have over your emotions in conflict situations the better. If you find yourself getting emotional, it is wise to walk away. In situations where the outcome is important (such as divorce proceedings, business deals, financial exchanges, family conflict and other) the use of a mediation can be helpful.
“We can disagree without being disagreeable.” – Lyndon Johnson
Anyone who finds themselves needing assistance with conflict resolution in Medicine H
at and surrounding area, is welcome to contact me for advice, i will respond to you as promptly as possible.