3 Steps to Decrease Conflict
Guest Speaker, Jody Urquhart
A Good Housekeeping Survey found, 79% feel people are ruder to each other now than just 10 years ago; 42% say they encounter rude behavior every day (Apr. 2008 Good Housekeeping)
We normally deal with conflict is in three different ways:
1) Avoid the person or conflict
2) Complain about it
3) Pretend it didn’t happen
The only method of the three that gets any real result is to complain (the squeaky wheel gets the grease). Avoiding the person and pretending it didn’t happen both cause the relationship to deteriorate. The most common method of dealing with conflict is to pretend it didn’t happen.
Arm yourself with positive leadership confrontation skills because the statistics on rudeness (leading to conflict) are sobering, See below (but take an Advil first)…It is far better to maintain positive relationships and set boundaries by stopping conflict before it gets out of hand. Dont endure conflict- Fight Back( in a positive way).
Leadership Strategy to Get Ahead- Positive Confrontation
Most people have never learned that their are effective, adaptive ways to communicate in the face of conflict. Some simple interpersonal skills can make a world of difference when you need them the most.
Conflict Author Speaker, Barbara Pachter offers Three Steps to Positive Confrontation:
1) Communicate what’s bothering you and how it makes you feel
I find the hardest part of communicating in conflict is deciding exactly what’s bothering you in the first place. The more emotion expressed the better (how does the behavior make you feel?)
For example- a friend of mine said her husband calls her lazy and it upsets her. Every time she complained about it they would argue. For some inspiration, we sat down and wrote down on paper specifically how it makes her feel (it is a really good idea in the beginning to write down what bothers you- to help you get clear). She decided when he called her lazy she felt it was unjustified and it hurt her feelings.
So instead of saying I hate it when you call me lazy, (complaining) she said,
Honey, when you call me lazy it hurts my feelings. A simple change in statement that expresses your emotion, keeps the other person’s emotions in tact and it keeps the responsibility on you- not blaming the other person. Always use the word “I” instead of “you” to avoid blaming others.
Leadership Skills to Positively address Confrontation- Communicate what’s bothering you. Interpersonal skills to address conflict:
-The more emotion expressed the better (how does the behavior make you feel?)
- It helps to step away from conflict situation, decide what bothers you and write it down
- Avoid negative or generalized words like never, always, should have, didn’t
- Use Easing statements to ease tension, if you feel the other person will get defensive. Statements like, I’m sure you didn’t mean any harm, I know you are busy and…
2) Clarify what you want.
We often complain about another person’s behavior but we don’t know what we want in its place…
In my friend’s case, she wants her husband to specifically ask her to help him out with things instead of calling her lazy.
So she says “Honey, when you call me lazy it hurts my feelings and doesn’t motivate me want to help out, I would appreciate it if you could instead ask me to help you take out the garbage, clean up the dishes or do the laundry.”
Another example: I have a friend who never calls me back and I feel like I am not important to her, my positive confrontation is….
“Hanna, I know you are really busy (easing statement) and when I call you and leave a message and you don’t call me back I feel like our friendship isn’t important to you ( state how you feel) so I would appreciate it if you could call me back within a few days( ask for what you want).”
Step 3- Get commitment.
Check with the other person to get there commitment.
Something as simple as “ok?” or “will that work?”
Arm yourself with positive confrontation interpersonal skills because the statistics on rudeness (leading to conflict) are sobering…It is far better to maintain positive interpersonal relationships and set boundaries by stopping conflict before it gets out of hand
Guest Motivational Speaker Jody Urquhart