55 Tips For Ending Destructive Conflict
Sometimes we make our life more difficult than it should be. In her book, Patricia M. Porter shares a number of tips that help us take a step back and take action to end destructive conflicts. It is a real pocket size book and each tip is explained in one paragraph. You can carry it everywhere you go and access it when you need it most.
Analyze the Conflict
Take a step back from the conflict
Examine the destructive behavior
Identify the level of conflict intensity
Decide whether to move forward with a conversation
Decide whether outside intervention is needed
Categorize the problem into identifiable issues
Identify all parties key to resolving this issue
Invite the parties for a series of conversations
Overcome the Conflict Dread
Acknowledge your underlying fear and anxiety
Identify the threat
Check your assumptions
Take deep breaths
Visualize a relaxing focal point
Keep a journal
Tame the lizard brain by speaking out loud
Establish a boundary for your specific trigger
Anchor a strategy with a tangible object
Commit to your intentions
Be open to perspective
Listen to perspective
Share your perspective
Beware of perceptual blindness
Close the perception gap
Prepare for Difficult Conversations
What are your conflict resolution goals?
What goals are not within your control?
What are the most important issues to discuss and/or resolve?
What are your unmet needs and values?
What are the other person’s unmet needs and values?
What key messages do you want to deliver?
How do you want to behave in these conversations?
What do you do or say that might trigger the other person?
What obstacles might interfere with a productive conversation?
What topics are off limits to these conversations?
What questions remain unanswered?
Establish a Structure for Conversation
Set up the room
Create a positive tone
Establish ground rules or norms
Establish a time frame
Determine confidentiality parameters
Create an agenda listing the issues
Facilitate the Conversation
Be careful with “Why?” questions
Stop the blame game
Be responsive not reactive
Stop “shoulding” on each other
Acknowledge and respect differences
Hold yourself accountable
Refrain from being self-righteous
Do not dismiss other’s negative experiences
Let go of old baggage
Create sustainable agreements
Clarify who needs to know
After the Conversation
Create a safety net
Follow through with action steps
Reflect and renew
Patricia Porter provides us with effective steps in a small and easy to read book. It can be a lifesaver when you are confronted with difficulties.
Jean-Paul Gagnon, ACC, CHRP is a professional coach, certified as CINERGY Conflict Management Coach. He is also a trained practitioner in conflict resolution. He is a mediator in the workplace and a volunteer community mediator. He has over 35 years of experience in Human Resource Management.
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