Posts Tagged ‘conflict’

How to Respectfully Disagree

August 31, 2017

All relationships experience conflict. Disagreements cause stress for everyone, even those with a healthy emotional intelligence. Whether it’s romantic, professional, or familial, navigating a disagreement with respect is a sure sign of personal growth and maturity.

BEST WAYS… TO DO IT POORLY

Conflict is often uncomfortable at best, and it is easy to fall into poor habits. However, we can learn to converse respectfully and constructively disagree. If you identify with any of these disagreement no-no’s, it would be wise to reconsider your approach. The best ways to disagree poorly include making a disagreement any of the following:

  • Personal – Do you find it challenging to separate the issue from the person? Remember, it’s an idea or concept being suggested that you are actually upset or disappointed by, not the individual.
  • A put-down – Have you found yourself saying things like, “That’s a dumb idea?” Avoid putting down the other person’s ideas, culture, or beliefs. Use respectful language, such as, “I don’t see it the same way you do.”
  • Emotionally charged – It’s easy to grow passionate and heated about topics that matter to us. Instead of lashing out or saying regretful statements, take a deep breath. Think before you speak or ask to continue the conversation at a later time if need be.
  • About you – Do you stop listening and begin mentally formulating your argument? Maybe you avoid it altogether and simply comply. Instead of shutting down or over-talking, try listening for understanding. Ask questions to gain insight into the person’s thoughts and feelings. Listening is a universal sign of respect.

PHYSICAL CUES

Learn to listen to your body’s clues and dues during a disagreement. Be mindful of overreacting, or “the amygdala hijack.” Our brain’s pre-frontal cortex is the center for rational thinking. Yet during an emotionally charged disagreement, the brain’s amygdala takes control and activates the fight, flight, or freeze response. Watch for physical cues such as a racing heart, increased breathing rate, or feeling tense to recognize the amygdala is kicking into high gear. Take some deep breaths to calm down and lower your heart-rate.

Navigating disagreements takes courage and maturity. Creating a culture and relationship built on mutual-respect amidst conflicting points of view is a worthy and rewarding pursuit.

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Conflict Resolution

May 16, 2017

Everyone faces conflict in varying degrees at some point in life. Because conflict happens in any relationship, including those at work and at home, no one is immune to its complexities. How we choose to deal with conflict is unique, as everyone brings his or her own personality and experiences to these difficulties.

CONFLICT DEFINED

A conflict is a difference of opinions, priorities, or perspectives, whether friendly or hostile. Because people react differently to conflict, the situation may be difficult to assess. Those who view conflict as a threat usually experience anxiety and stress, and those who see it as an opportunity for growth can overcome it and even benefit from conflict.

CONFLICT IN THE WORKPLACE

One environment where conflict is common is in the workplace. We spend the bulk of our time there and often can’t choose our co-workers. Since conflict is inevitable, there are real benefits to improving your resolution skills. Some of the paybacks include improved relationships, a smoother working environment, fewer delays in production, increased communication, and improved health as tension symptoms decrease. The following strategies will help you in your workplace conflict resolution:

  • Tackle potential conflict – If you sense tension in the workplace, take a proactive stance. Calmly confront the other individual with honesty. This could prevent a future blowup from occurring.
  • Choose your battles – Not every little item is worth the conflict. Knowing when to let things slide and when to take action about conflict makes for a more success work environment.
  • See growth in conflict – Being able to resolve conflict in relationships is a sign of maturity. Try viewing conflict, at work or home, as an opportunity for growth instead of something to be avoided.

TAKE ACTION THROUGH LISTENING

The following tips demonstrate how to resolve conflict with listening skills:

  • Listen actively – Active listening aims to understand the thoughts, feelings, and emotions behind what the other person is saying.
  • Acknowledge the message – You don’t have to agree with the other person to respect and validate their opinion. Recognize their value as a fellow human being and affirm the importance of their beliefs.
  • Know your message – Before you respond, consider your own emotions and thoughts about the situation in conflict.

Healthy Relationships – Keys to Success

September 24, 2015

Whether it’s a relationship with a spouse, significant other, friend or colleague, it’s important that the relationships you have are healthy ones. We’re often good at spotting unhealthy relationships, but what exactly makes a relationship a healthy one? Bestselling author and relationship expert, Margaret Paul, Ph.D., has some fundamentals to healthy relationships:

Emotional Responsibility – Paul posits this is the most important ingredient for creating a healthy relationship. It involves taking responsibility for your own feelings, rather than trying to make your partner responsible for your own happiness, emotional safety and self-worth. These feelings have to come from valuing yourself and not abandoning how you feel.

Enjoying Time Together and Apart – In a healthy relationship, partners enjoy being together but their well-being is not dependent on the other person. When your happiness depends on someone else; it’s called emotional dependency and is the opposite of emotional responsibility. Ideally, both people should feel supported when they pursue separate interests or spend time with their own friends.

Learning Through Conflict – Partners are able to learn and grow through conflict when they’re in a healthy relationship. Conflicts are not about who’s right or who won, it’s about listening to each other’s viewpoints and using conflict as a way to evolve.

Trust and Support – People in healthy relationships trust that the other person has their best interest in mind and will not intentionally hurt them. They support each other and feel joy in seeing their partner happy. They’re not threatened by their partner’s joy or success, but rather are proud and delighted by it.

When Anger Strikes

July 11, 2013

Steps to defusing another person’s anger.

Listen. When someone expresses his/her anger, your first reaction may be to defend yourself or to try to calm the person with your words. But doing so may easily escalate the situation. Remain calm and silent as the person vents – unless you feel as though the person might become physical, in which case you should seek safety immediately.

Maintain a neutral stance. Keep your face and posture relaxed and open. Expressing any tension or aggressiveness may make the person angrier.

Keep a level voice. An excited or loud voice also may increase the person’s anger. Speak slowly and with a low voice.

Use reflective listening. When the moment permits, restate what the person is saying, using your own words. Begin with, “If I understand you correctly, you’re saying….” This is called reflective listening.

Use the person’s name when you speak. This makes your speech personal and friendly.

Use calming statements. “[The situation] must have really been uncomfortable for you” or “I’m sorry this has happened to you” are good calming statements.

Problem solve. “How can the situation be made better?” or “What can be done about this?” are questions that may lead to a solution.

Use numbers. An angry person is operating from the emotional right side of the brain. To move the person to the logical left side of the brain, list items using numbers. “Let’s see, one, you didn’t get A, which, two, led you to feeling B, which, three, made you do C….” Getting the person to switch sides of the brain in this way may calm him/her down.