Part of being in connection with others is being in communication with them AND dealing with conflict. It’s not if, it’s when we have conflict. It could be as simple as what’s for dinner or which project to work on. Conflict isn’t bad or good – it just is part of life. It can be healthy. I use the saying, “Miscommunication is the root of all disagreements and conflict.”
Conflict is the differences that occur between people when values or belief systems collide, when needs aren’t met or when we feel threatened or undermined.
Communication is a key to conflict and resolution. We must communicate to resolve our conflicts. Communication can be positive and uplifting or it can be negative and degrading.
Communication is defined as a process of sending and receiving messages, information and understanding between two parties. Leland Brown says it’s “the transmission and interchange of facts, ideas, feelings or course of action.”
When considering resolving a conflict, utilize the characteristics of positive communication.
Characteristics of open, supportive, uplifting, positive communication
- Remove distractions and devices and focus on the person
- Listen more than you talk – we have 2 ears & 1 mouth
- Listen without judgement or assumptions
- Express – what you need or want
- Be mindful of body language & facial expressions
- Embrace the differences and diversity
- Seek to understand vs. retaliate or justify
- Using I statements “I’m exhausted, I really need your help cleaning up dinner)” vs. You statements “You never help me clean up dinner, I always do it, you’re a selfish jerk”
- Point out positive things the person does or behaves. “I really appreciate you filling the copier with paper.”
- Remain present vs. bringing up the past – especially failures and hurts.
Conflict can be constructive or destructive. Constructive conflict seeks to understand and work towards resolution.
Constructive conflict has the following characteristics
- Focuses on the issue vs. people
- Brings people together for problem solving vs. polarizing & divisive
- Future oriented vs. past
- Seek to understand the problem or issue – How did the conflict arise?
- Assess what you’re feeling and triggered you
- Assess the situation – take a broader look and higher-level look
- What does resolution look like to you?
- Have the conversation with the person(s)
- Establish a common goal for the outcome
In growing your connections being prepared for positive communication and constructive conflict resolution can foster deep rich connections. Next time you have a conflict lean into constructive conflict and positive communication to help resolve the issue.
Knowing that conflict can be a good thing, I hope you’re more willing to dive into constructive resolutions in your life. I wish for you renewed connections, positive connections and continued growth to your community. I’d love to hear how this series has resonated with you.
If you or someone you know would like support to bounce back or work through conflict resolution or communication, please reach out and contact me. You can also forward this to them or even provide an e-mail introduction. I provide a safe place to explore your life and business. My clients inspire me with their wins, hard work, new jobs, reaching goals and moving forward in life.
PS. Are you thinking of coaching, I have space for 1 client in my coaching practice this month. If that's you or someone you know, please contact me here, use the form at the bottom and we’ll have a conversation to see how I may be of support for you.
Teresa – Leaning into positive communication & conflict resolution.
Teresa Q. Bitner, M.Ed., PMP, PCC - Resiliency, Change and Loss Coach
Partnering with those who have been knocked down my life and want to build resiliency and move forward and live a bold life.
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