Posts Tagged ‘resolving conflict’

TEN TIPS TO DIFFUSE A VOLATILE SITUATION

We are living in a very volatile and dangerous age. Not only have issues of domestic violence, child and animal abuse, anger in the workplace and so on been more apparent, but we are definitely witnessing a rise of violence within our communities. Gangs and individual assaults seem to be taking a back seat to protests by militant groups claiming to seek justice but who in actuality are promoting and engaging in acts of violence themselves. What could be a peaceful gathering intent on seeking a reasonable solution to a problem escalates to one of violence and often bloodshed. Angry and passionate individuals determined to right an injustice only create further mayhem by advocating and engaging in the very acts they condemn.
But is it possible for large masses of angry individuals to successfully , reasonable, and peacefully find solutions to perceived issues of extreme injustice? Yes, if both sides follow these ten recommended tips:

1. Approach other party(s) in a non hostile non aggressive way. By taking a non threatening approach the other party feels relatively confident that they are not at risk physically or otherwise and therefore the need for a defensive response is unnecessary.
2. Be open minded and fair in the way you present your grievances. Refrain from using such phrases as “you always”, “we never” “it can’t”. In each case, one assumes a scenario that is not necessarily true, appears extreme and unrealistic, and creates a mindset of preconceived defeat.
3. Be respectful in the way you speak to and treat one another. Passion need not translate into disrespectful or degrading conduct towards the disagreeing party. Always be mindful that the amount of cooperation you receive from the other party is in direct proportion to the amount of respect you afford them. So be generous.
4. Deal with facts, not simply feelings. Too often we rant about how angry or hurt or offended we are. Dealing with facts enables us to more accurately see the true nature of the incident. Adding feelings to the dialogue lends a deeper level of understanding as to how the incident is impacting both sides.
5. Keep everything in the proper perspective. Exaggerating may add an element of drama but is only effective on stage. Deal with the serious issues and leave those of lesser importance for another time.
6. Remove any extraneous issues; stick to the original topic. When discussing a serious issue, refrain from going off on tangents. It’s easy to become distracted by related issues but only takes precious resources away from the primary one.
7. Refrain from any inflammatory or accusatory statements. Quickly diffuse any that may occur. Accusations, blame, assumptions, and exaggerations can all incite. There are those who will deliberately try to provoke the other into losing control. Be aware of the intent and nature of every comment and quickly diffuse anything that can escalate to something more serious. Don’t ever take the bait.
8. Listen objectively with the intent to understand the other person, to gain deeper insight into the nature of the conflict, and to extract any possible solutions or partial solutions offered by the other party.
9. Be willing to compromise, recognizing that each side believes their position is valid and correct.
10. Show appreciation for the time and effort the other side has put forth. A little appreciation goes a long way and can enable both sides to reach a peaceful resolution more efficiently and quickly.

With true concern for the well-being of each other and a sincere desire to resolve the issue peacefully, anyone can find a reasonable solution to any challenge by following the above Ten Tips. It can be challenging but with practice and determination and a sincere regard for justice, one can realize the path to coexisting harmoniously with others. And we certainly are all deserving of that.

Let me reiterate: “The amount of cooperation you receive from the other party is in direct proportion to the amount of respect you afford them.” Be generous.

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The 15 Minute Conflict Resolution Solution

I abhor arguing. It’s a waste of precious time and energy and robs me of my serenity. Conflict, however, is horse of another color. Conflict occurs daily in each of our lives. It simply means that there is a disagreement, a difference of opinion. My husband and I engage in disputes on a regular basis yet interestingly enough have had fewer than five arguments in our eighteen year marriage. Unlike popular opinion, conflict is not synonymous with fighting. I’m willing to engage in a discussion but will never allow it to escalate into a battle. Let me explain by first clarifying the words I’m referring to: conflict is two opposing forces; to argue is to give reason for or against something, to prove or try to prove (this often entails the need to be right); fighting seeks to gain authority over another by way of struggle, a hostile encounter between two parties.

Let’s take a closer look at each. Two people, each with a different set of beliefs, preferences, needs, or goals enter into a conversation: a wife dreams of traveling around the world while her husband wants to settle down and have a family – conflict. One person is raised Christian, another Jew, and yet another with no beliefs in a higher power form a friendship and share their beliefs – conflict. Conflict even occurs in nature: a sun shower, salmon swimming upstream to lay their eggs, a collision of warm air with a cold front. The difference between human discord and natural divergence is that in nature there is no ego to complicate matters. Humans have an inherent need to be right, to win in order to feel good about themselves, to raise their sense of worth. Nature on the other hand simply allows differences to occur and works within the context of its ever changing circumstances. Yet when two creatures of the human species disagree ego wages war on the so-called offending party, prepared to prove it’s superiority and claim victory over its opponent. What begins as a simple disagreement quickly rivals The War of the Roses.

But there is an alternative. Many disagreements can be readily resolved in a matter of minutes by adhering to the following fifteen minute protocol:
1. Allow each party sixty seconds (that’s right: one measly minute) to state their position. This prevents the dialogue from becoming contaminated with blame and excuses or veering off track. Total time: two minutes.
2. Each party is allotted thirty seconds to state their desired outcome, what they would ideally like to see happen. Total time: one minute.
3. Both parties must contribute a minimum of three possible solutions. This allows for six potentially workable resolutions. Each person is permitted three minutes. Total time: six minutes.
4. Together, extract the best components of each suggestion and determine which elements can successfully be incorporated into the final solution. Tweak if necessary. Total time: six minutes.

Approximately 13% of the total time focuses on the challenging situation leaving a whopping 87% to finding a workable and mutually satisfying remedy.
The advantages of a Fifteen Minute Conflict Resolution Solution is that by moving the process along quickly one dramatically reduces the chances that the situation will escalate into an argument or fight. The mind must remain focused on finding a solution rather than concerning itself with being right. Time is of the essence and one cannot afford to become distracted by ego. Putting this issue to rest allows both sides to move forward to the more enjoyable aspects of living. Short and sweet = complete. Pretty cool, don’t you agree?

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Just Say “No” To Drama

It seems as though one cannot make it through an entire day without drama popping up somewhere. Whether at work, in the news, or within our own homes, we are constantly surrounded with chaos and crisis. While some seem to thrive on it, others avoid it like the plague. Not all drama is harmful. Like stress, it can be an opportunity to develop problem solving skills that will also help us in other areas of our life. And it can motivate us to take a closer look at its source and make any necessary changes that benefit us and those around us.

Life is very much like the theater: there are dramas, mysteries, musicals, and comedies. You are the writer, producer, director, and actor of your own production who chooses what genre you live in and the nature of the script. You also choose which productions to purchase tickets for should the play be that of another play write. You are not required to attend or perform in the innovative work of any other person. If invited, you can always decline using the standard excuse, “I’m so sorry but I have other plans that evening.”

Chaos gives the illusion of power as those who initiate or engage it in can at times evoke certain responses from the other actors. For some, this behavior is considered the norm as it has been present in their lives since the get go. Others assign themselves the role of victim to those who are stirring up drama. It is a behavior that, like drugs and alcohol, can become addictive. Severe or extended crises can damage one’s health, relationships, and overall quality of life.

How does one remove or reduce chaotic behavior?
1. Know when to mind your own business, stay focused on your own life and work on your own issues. Be firm with your decision not to engage in other people’s drama.
2. Keep everything in perspective. Not every event needs to be classified a crisis.
3. Offer assistance on important issues if necessary and you are so inclined to do so. Remain positive and hopeful. Help others to see things from a positive perspective.
4. Set conditions for your involvement such as what you are willing offer, how much/long/to what extent you will do so, and what is expected of the other party as well.
5. Know when it’s time to withdraw and walk away without guilt or regret.

Like a great theatrical writer, carefully determine the genre of your life:
Choose comedy first, infusing generous doses of laughter and fun.
Introduce a little mystery, seeing life as a an adventure to discover, an enigma to unfold, a riddle to be solved.
Blend in a musical component: fill your play with beautiful music and song. Sing and dance with passion – it’s good for the body and soul.
When necessary, prudently infuse a hint of drama, careful not to contaminate the overall substance of your production.

Inviting drama and chaos into your life drowns out any hope for inner peace. You were created to live peacefully and joyfully. So chose the content of your life carefully for you are the writer of your own destiny.

“Each one has to find his peace from within. And for peace to be real it must be unaffected by outside circumstances.” Ghandi

Order The Secret Side of Anger, Second Edition or The Great Truth @ http://www.pfeifferpowerseminars.com/pps1-products.html
Listen to past shows on iHeart Radio @ http://ow.ly/OADTf
Listen to my newest iHeart Radio show, BETWEEN YOU AND GOD, @ http://ow.ly/OADJK
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