Learning to diffuse conflict

The holidays can be a stressful time for a lot of people. Unfortunately, it’s not always about cheer and eggnog. Sometimes there can be disagreements among family members and friends – especially if that eggnog gets involved.

If you’re the host, or just a concerned party, sometimes a little conflict resolution is required. Pick your battles, of course, however if you feel a certain blown-out situation needs a little finessing, then by all means take Santa’s reigns and diffuse away.

Simple tips from Inspired Abundance can make conflict easier to deal with:

  1. Break the tension. Do something completely out of character to break the tension. Laughter can go a long way toward diffusing conflict. Don’t expect it to solve the whole problem. However, it will give you a chance to take a break from the anger so you can gather your thoughts, cool down, and begin to work toward a solution.
  2. Adhere to company policy. If the problem is at work, refer to company policy. While a company may not consider every possible issue in their handbook, it may address many common problems. Using the company policy as a guideline prevents claims of favouritism.
  3. Act quickly. If at all possible, avoid putting off the conflict for a more convenient time. Allowing conflict and ill feelings to remain will only serve to make your office or home stressful. It’s best to deal with it immediately.

Finding a resolution:

  1. Identify the problem. This is the first step to resolving a conflict effectively. You’re not likely to solve a problem if you have no idea what it is. To determine what the problem is, talk calmly and listen to each other without judgment.
  2. State your needs. It’s quite possible the person who’s angry doesn’t really know what the problem is. Each person should write down any needs that aren’t being met. Do they expect a raise they haven’t received? Maybe they’re not getting enough sleep. Are they dealing with a long-term illness in their family? Voicing their needs may reduce some of their anger.
  3. Find a solution. Now that you know what’s bothering the other, you can work on resolving the conflict. It’s planning time. Ask questions: What can be done so that both people are satisfied with the outcome? How can we work together to fix this problem? If we cannot resolve the issue right away, what can we do to work toward a resolution? When both people are more intent on finding a solution rather than arguing or fighting, you’re more likely to find a solution both can be comfortable with.
  4. Follow through. Be sure to follow through with the steps necessary to solve the initial problem.

What are some of your conflict-resolution tips? Email us! Info@releaseyourvoice.com

About releaseyourvoices

Release Your Voice with Pamela Hart: Public Speaking training based in Vancouver BC. We offer training seminars, oral presentation skills, corporate communication, private lessons or group training
This entry was posted in Challenges, Checklists, Communication, Goals, Motivation. Bookmark the permalink.

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