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CONFLICT RESOLUTION READINESS

So often we embark on a difficult communication or react to a conflict situation by trying to discuss it before the other person is ready. At times, we may not really be ready either but, we are anxious to resolve matters sooner than later, to get past the high emotions, to make amends and so on. These and other reasons compel many of us to dive in prematurely to try to talk things out. On the other hand, sometimes we tend to wait too long before we reach out and find our efforts are perceived as ‘too little too late’, despite our good intentions.

These considerations work both ways, of course, and poor timing, whether too early or too late, has an impact on how amenable the other person or we will be to having a conversation about resolving a conflict situation. In either case, contemplating how and when and whether to discuss an incident takes some reflection. This week’s Conflict Mastery Quest(ions) blog invites you to think about one situation when you approached the other person when you realized it was too early and one when it was too late.

  • When you approached the other person before they were ready, what happened?
  • How did you determine the timing?
  • When another person has ever approached you to discuss the conflict between you before you were ready, what did you experience?
  • Generally, what are the risks for reaching out before the other person is ready?
  • When you approached the other person in a situation and they said it was too late, what happened?
  • How did you determine the timing here?
  • If another person has approached you when it feels like it is too late after a conflict situation, how was that for you?
  • What are the general risks in reaching out too late?
  • What needs to be in place for you to know when you are ready to have a conflict conversation?
  • What ‘best practices’ do you think may help to determine what timing works most effectively for you and the other person in your conflicts?
  • What else occurs to you as you consider these questions?
  • What insights do you have?

#interpersonalconflict
#conflict
#coaching
#conflictcoaching
#conflictmanagementcoaching
#conflictmanagement
#disputeresolution

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AVOIDING INTERPERSONAL CONFLICT

“Avoidance is the best short-term strategy to escape conflict, and the best long-term strategy to ensure suffering.” Brendon Burchard

We all have ways that we manage conflict that we have learned over time. It is often the case that one of our conflict management styles seems to be dominant and reflects the default approach we take under stress if we’re not careful. Our way of engaging in interpersonal conflict* of course, depends on who the person is and what we are experiencing from the interaction with them. The timing, our mood at the time, our overall well-being, the impact of the dispute on us and other factors all enter in to determine how we interact and respond.

Avoiding conflict is one choice we have and sometimes it works as a good short-term approach. However, we avoid conflict to our detriment because avoiding conflict can leave a void of ongoing unresolved and unreconciled feelings and issues.

If we face conflict head on, the result may be a resolution of the issues, or a better understanding of what happened, or reconciliation of the relationship. However, we don’t know that at the time things begin to escalate or, if the outcome will meet our hopes and needs. The unknown can create unsettled feelings that support any tendency to avoid. Examining when and why we avoid conflict is a helpful exercise in the quest for conflict mastery. Here are this week’s Conflict Mastery Quest(ions) about this topic.

  • Under what circumstances do you avoid conflict?
  • What is it about these circumstances that results in your decision to avoid conflict?
  • What do you gain from avoiding conflict at these times that you haven’t yet mentioned?
  • What are the disadvantages for you when you avoid?
  • What are the upsides for the other person when you avoid the conflict? What are the downsides for them?
  • What emotions do you experience about yourself when you avoid conflict? What are you feeling about the other person at these times?
  • What other approach or approaches to conflict may work more effectively for you rather than avoiding?
  • In what way(s) would that work better for you?
  • How would that or those ways work for the other person?
  • What may concern you about taking this approach?
  • What else occurs to you as you consider these questions?
  • What insights do you have?

*Violent conflict is not being considered here

#interpersonalconflict
#conflict
#coaching
#conflictcoaching
#conflictmanagementcoaching
#conflictmanagement
#disputeresolution

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YOU LIKELY PROVOKE OTHERS FROM TIME TO TIME, RIGHT?

I imagine we all do! However, we aren’t necessarily aware of how we do so until it’s too late. Though we are generally aware of the “hot buttons” for our family members and friends and those we come to know well (such as colleagues and co-workers) we sometimes don’t know the range of things that provoke them. New friends, colleagues and others start with a clean slate and we sometimes learn their “hot buttons” too late.

When we are provoked by something others say or do, or even what they don’t say or do, many of us let the person know directly. Others of us do so indirectly showing signs of being disgruntled without really saying what is happening. Similarly, when we provoke others, they let us know in their individual ways. In either case, lots of times the signs are so indirect we and others miss them altogether.

When we want to strengthen a relationship that is disrupted by a conflict and possibly, engage in productive conflict conversations, or to show up in ways that welcome and invite dialogue of differences, it helps to consider what we do that irritates others. Here are some questions in this week’s Conflict Mastery Quest(ions) blog that may work to heighten awareness about this topic.

  • What are 2 of your ‘hot buttons’ – the actions or words that others do that commonly provoke you?
  • What values or needs do you experience are being undermined when people provoke you in each of these ways?
  • In what ways, that you can think of, have you irritated another person in the same or similar ways?
  • What other ways do you know you seem to provoke others?
  • What values and needs might they experience as being undermined at these times?
  • Considering a dispute you were in recently, what specific ‘hot button’ for the other person did you push? What lead you to push that button do you think?
  • What was the impact on the other person? Why do you suppose the person assumed your reasons were for what you said or did?
  • What part or parts of what they may have attributed to you is correct?
  • What happens to you when you become aware you irritate others?
  • If you decide to make some changes in an effort to not push others’ hot buttons, how do you prefer to be and be perceived?
  • What else occurs to you as you consider these questions?
  • What insights do you have?

#interpersonalconflict
#conflict
#coaching
#conflictcoaching
#conflictmanagementcoaching
#conflictmanagement
#disputeresolution

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INTERRUPTING WHEN IN CONFLICT – A NO NO

It is common when we are in conflict, that as our emotions escalate, many of us tend to interrupt more and listen less. We might interrupt for many reasons, including that we want to get heard; we are strongly disagreeing with what the other person is saying; we are getting more and more hurt and angry; we perceive that whatever is being said or done undermines and challenges something important for us. Other reasons may be we find it difficult to hear the truth or the falsehood of what the other person is saying, or we figure we know what the person is about to say and have limited patience or time. Further reasons for interrupting may include a need to be right that is shown by not giving the other person time and space to express their views and be heard, too. These and other reasons undoubtedly preclude de-escalation of the tempers and negative energy that are rising steadily.

Interrupting is a habit for some people who listen to talk rather than to hear. And the tendency that we may have to interrupt in any case may be accentuated during conflict.

It helps in the quest for conflict mastery to do some reflection on what is happening for you if interrupting is something you are inclined to do or react to. Here are some questions to think about from this week’s Conflict Mastery Quest(ions) blog.

  • How might you define interrupting?
  • What are two words you would use to describe the impact on you when people interrupt you?
  • What is it about others interrupting you that results in the impact you described?
  • Under what circumstances are you likely to interrupt the other person when you are in conflict with them?
  • When you interrupt, what impact on the other person do you notice?
  • How does interrupting by either of you help the conflict conversation? In what ways does it hinder it?
  • When people interrupt you when you are in conflict with them, what are you aware of that you may be doing or saying at those times (that seems to result in them interrupting you)?
  • What ways may you respond to the other person, when they interrupt you that may facilitate a more productive conversation?
  • What needs to happen for you to refrain from interrupting?
  • How may that happen?
  • What else occurs to you as you consider these questions?
  • What insights do you have?

#interpersonalconflict
#conflict
#coaching
#conflictcoaching
#conflictmanagementcoaching
#conflictmanagement
#disputeresolution

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THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM

As you likely know, when we use the metaphor – an elephant in the room – we mean there’s an obvious problem about which everyone in the room is fully aware but no one mentions. It may be an important topic that is too uncomfortable, controversial, embarrassing, inflammatory, or dangerous for people to raise.

An elephant in the room might also represent the unspoken hurts or words. They are what is going on between disputing people that isn’t being said. They are the lingering doubts and the niggling feelings. They are the missing pieces of the puzzle. They are present without being identified.

At times, it may appear that we resolve matters without ever acknowledging elephants that remain hovering around. Without bringing them into the room though, conflict conversations are destined to have blinders on so that we don’t actually acknowledge the bigger issues underlying the tension. Inevitably though, it is commonly the case that the elephant will reappear in the next conflict, with this person or another.

When we are in conflict, we are responsible for acknowledging the elephants and identifying what they are telling us. To do so, you may find it helpful to consider how to acknowledge the elephants in your conflict conversations, with these types of self-reflective questions from this week’s Conflict Mastery Quest(ions) blog.

  • Think of the last dispute you were engaged in when an elephant was there that wasn’t identified. What was the elephant?
  • What kept you from acknowledging its presence, do you think?
  • What do you suppose kept the other person(s) from identifying it?
  • What fear(s) might both of you have shared?
  • How would bringing the elephant into the conversation have changed things?
  • How would that change in the conversation have benefited you?
  • What part would have been detrimental for you? In what ways?
  • How may the other person have benefitted if the elephant was identified?
  • What part of that change would hurt the other person? In what ways?
  • Generally, under what circumstances may it be best to identify and not identify the elephant present in the room?
  • What else occurs to you as you consider these questions?
  • What insights do you have?

#interpersonalconflict
#conflict
#coaching
#conflictcoaching
#conflictmanagementcoaching
#conflictmanagement
#disputeresolution

Posted in Conflict Management Coaching | Leave a comment