6 Easy and Positive Ways to Deal With Conflict
How do you deal with conflict in your organization, business, or church? Conflict is an issue that most people will avoid at all costs. However, conflicts will happen.
Do you have a definite plan to react when a clash or disagreements take place? Here are seven suggestions that may help you in dealing with disputes.
Take Your Time When You Deal With Conflict
How often have you seen people get in a hurry to resolve an issue? There are times when conflicts explode unnecessarily. I can remember when I was a child that my mother told me to be sure and count to ten real slow when someone made me mad. She taught me that if I take my time before I did anything, the chances are that I would not do what I first wanted to do.
Taking our time is not always easy. However, this practice can be most helpful.
Work Toward Building a Healthy Conversation When You Deal With Conflict
Blowing your stack and destroying communication will not resolve conflicts. In fact, it will most likely multiply the problem. Building a healthy conversation with someone you disagree with will take time. Sometimes this will take a lot of time with lots of discipline. The next five steps are suggestions in how to deal with conflict and build a healthy conversation with someone.
Listen Carefully When You Deal With Conflict
Listening is something many people do not do well. Many folks while in engaging in a conversation are busy thinking what they are going to say or ask while they should be listening. Forbes gives some great steps in being an effective listener.
- Face the speaker and keep eye contact.
- Be attentive, be relaxed.
- Keep an opened mind.
- Listen to the words and try to picture what the speaker is saying.
- Don’t interrupt and impose your “solutions.”
- Wait for the speaker to pause to ask clarifying questions.
- Ask questions only to insure understanding.
- Try to feel what the speaker is feeling.
- Give the speaker regular feedback.
Conflict can be countered by those who listen well.
Choose Your Words Selectively When You Deal With Conflict
Often the use of the wrong words can be destructive. Linda Hill, the Wallace Brett Donham Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School, believes that the words we use can get us into trouble for three reasons:
- When we are engaged in a conflict, our discomfort can make us fumble over words and cause us to say things we don’t mean.
- Too many times we end up deciding who’s right or who’s wrong, instead of trying to understand what’s happening in a disagreement.
- There are often misunderstandings between what we meant and what the other person hears.
Word choice and how we use those words can be fuel for the fire of conflict. Choose your words carefully.
Place a Strong Value on Others When You Deal With Conflict
In addressing a conflict, the de-valuing of another person is extremely destructive! Putting a value on others will show itself when:
- you genuinely care for others.
- what they have to say is heard by you.
- you affirm them on a regular basis.
Do Not Lose Your Cool When You Deal With Conflict
During the Civil War Abraham Lincoln once said, “If the great American people will only keep their temper, on both sides of the line, the troubles will come to an end, and the question which now distracts the country will be settled just as surely as all other difficulties of like character….”
- Step away from what triggers your anger
- Take some time before your react
- Create a visual picture in your mind about what you look like when you are mad
Are you dealing with any conflict today?
How are you handling it?
Bruce Lee, a Hong Kong and American actor, martial artist, philosopher and filmmaker once said, “A quick temper will make a fool of you soon enough.” This statement of Lee is true. However, the writer of the Old Testament book of Proverbs said this, “Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who has a hasty temper exalts folly.” ~ Proverbs 14:29 ESV
So, how are you dealing with the issue of conflict when it comes your way?