art work by John Ceprano
CINERGY (tm) - Peacebuilding... one person at a time

One Step at a Time After Conflict

One of the things I observe about some conflict management coaching clients is a tendency to try to resolve their disputes too quickly. I’ve done this myself and found that such attempts can often backfire. This is even if those of us who reach out too fast have resolution and positive intent motivating us. Other times the reasoning might be a matter of trying to move on so we can feel better and get past the high emotions and adverse impact on the relationship.

Whatever the intent may be for trying to resolve matters in a timely way, it isn’t always the case that the other person is ready. So, the above actions and others aimed at getting past the dissension may be experienced as far-reaching (in a negative way), too aggressive, unthinking and, generally, not the optimal approach.

Previous blogs have discussed the importance of methodical preparation when embarking on a difficult conversation. This week’s Conflict Mastery Quest(ions) blog talks about methodical ways to move on from an interpersonal dispute by considering not only our readiness and intent but also, the other person’s. As in the photo here, one small step at a time is often the more prudent approach rather than trying to reach for something that’s not quite (yet) there.

To answer the questions below I suggest you consider a dispute you have had that ended poorly, and you want to resolve matters as soon as possible.

  • What happened in this conflict between you and the other person? How did things end?
  • How are you feeling about this conflict right now? What do you know about how the other person is feeling about things?
  • What is motivating you mostly to resolve matters?
  • What would resolution look like for you?
  • What might the other person want as a resolution?
  • How ready are you to resolve matters on a scale of 1-10, 10 being very?
  • Where might the other person be on the scale, from what you know about them?
  • If you don’t know the answer to the above question or the number is lower than yours, what might be a first step in determining their readiness?
  • What else do you want or need to consider about trying to resolve matters before you proceed? What does this step involve that you haven’t contemplated yet?
  • What value is there in going slowly – thinking out the steps and the other person’s possible responses before proceeding?
  • What else occurs to you as you consider these questions?
  • What insights do you have?

#conflict management

This entry was posted in Conflict Coaching, Conflict Management Coaching. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *