“We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.”
Two sides typically get into a conflict when they don’t feel appreciated by the other. The way out of conflict is to move toward a deeper understanding of the other side. So let’s talk about what healthy confrontation looks like and how to deal with it or not!
Conflict is inevitable where dialogue is involved. It stems when two individuals or groups interact while sharing a situation when their perspectives are different. They see things differently, which is not necessarily right or wrong. They’re just different.
No two individuals exist that can think on similar lines. There’s always some difference in their thoughts, perceptions, and understanding. Differences in values, opinions, needs, beliefs, behaviors, and interests where people are unable to find a middle way lead to disagreements, and disagreements lead to conflicts and fights. After all, it is wrong to expect two people to agree on everything all the time!
When a conflict is not handled well, it can be a precursor to foiling relationships; but when handled in an exemplary, respectful, and positive way, the situation paves the path for a chance to strengthen the bond. Whether the conflict arises at home, at school, at college, with colleagues, or in any kind of relationship, learning a positive attitude towards resolving differences can lead to rewarding situations.
While conflict can also be a normal and healthy part of relationships, there are several ways to prevent or resolve conflict through better communication. It is all about finding the middle path to an accomplishable solution.
So, here I am, sharing a few tips and tricks on healthy communication, speaking the truth without hurting others, and handling conflict skillfully.
Always treat people with equality and respect. Their opinions may be right or wrong – of the most minor concern. Their opinions are just different, and one has to treat them in that light. Be polite. Keep the judgments aside. Listen. Appreciate their perspectives (although you might not necessarily agree with them, try to find a fresh dimension within their reasoning). Cultivate compassion.
When listening carefully, try to absorb more at the moment and respond later! It also makes one a good listener who can become curious about ‘why, what if, how’ when thrown in a whole new light. Then, try to devise a resolution that aids the situation while responding.
The loudest voices have never helped to mitigate any situation. On the contrary, it has always worsened the state. Therefore, always speak respectfully while dealing with any disagreements. Be cautious of the condescending language. Choose your words wisely with an intent. Winning an argument is certainly not worth it if it leaves emotional scars life-long with piercing words that are hard to take back!
One can create a roadmap in one’s head while having a conversation and providing feedback which is all about constructive development in a dialogue. Ensure that the person in front of you is in a state of mind of receiving information.
You can start with a simple 3 step rule:
Listen and value:
Listen to the person’s view without judgement. Extract the facts that you
like. State that you like certain points from their thought process to make sure you understood what your opponent said.
Present the problem or barrier:
Secondly, present the problem or barrier – i.e., what you didn’t understand, something that you were not in alignment with a proper reasoning/justification. Always better if you share your feelings or thoughts and ideas from your point of view, not what your opponent should be doing or not doing.
Provide a fruitful suggestion:
Thirdly, if you are presenting a barrier, the most logical way to go about it is to provide a fruitful suggestion. So, here comes the suggestion – wherein you state what you think is the best to go about a certain situation in a most cordial manner while bringing in inclusivity.
Be willing to forgive, respect others’ views, know when you have to let it go, and use humor in otherwise tense situations. When we shift from an approach that is self-justifying and rigid to a curious and considerate mindset, we are more likely to arrive at a collective win-win solution in a better, faster manner.
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