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Conflict Emergency Kit

16 Jun

So … it’s happened.  You are being drawn into a conflict. Things are going downhill and you can see the pattern – attack and counterattack. You don’t want to go there. What can you do???

I found these suggestions in a book entitled “The Seven Challenges Workbook” which is a guide to cooperative communication skills. They are great to practice when you are in a conflict ’emergency.’iStock_000018092573Small

  1. Calm yourself down – Take a deep breath and close your eyes for a moment. Imagine a more peaceful time – perhaps doing something you really enjoy.
  2. Think about what you really need – Conflict can distract you from your own goals because you focus on the other person’s mistakes, blunders, attacks etc. rather than on negotiating the issues that really matter to you.
  3. Imagine the other person as an ally – Suppose there were only the two of you stranded on a desert island and your survival depended on cooperating in new and creative ways.
  4. Listen to the other person – Is there anything you agree on? If so, say it out loud.
  5. Acknowledge and apologize for any past mistakes – Being the first to let go of defending past mistakes may  get the ball rolling and can provide the opportunity to see a situation from a fresh angle.
  6. Summarize the other person’s needs, feeling and positions as best as you can – Feeling heard is a powerful conflict resolution tool. When people feel heard, they may be more likely to listen.
  7. Focus on positive goals for the present and future – The past is history. The present and future are all you can change.
  8. Think about a potential referee – Can you agree on a person who can help you to work through your conflict?
  9. Make request for specific action – What would be helpful to you in the future? It’s better to be specific so that compliance with your request is clearer.

Free e-copies of this workbook are available by clicking here.

I encourage you to check it out and share it with teachers and other educators too.

Jeanette

 

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