Ford Escape, F150 or Bulldozer?

Conflict resolution is not a pleasant experience for most people, in part because we are ill-equip with the proper skills to achieve a relatively satisfying outcome. For many arguing, fighting, and anger are synonymous with conflict. Yet in reality, conflict is nothing more than two forces in opposition with each other – a difference of opinion, opposing ideas, dissimilar feelings. Disagreements can actually lend themselves to a spirited discussion, a chance to learn something new, and a deeper understanding of the other party. However, resolution – the ability to find a mutually agreeable solution – is an art.

Generally people fall into one of several styles of “resolvers”:
The Escapes tend to flee the scene. Uncomfortable with any sort of confrontation, they seek to avoid at all costs. Their behavior is rooted in fear and insecurity. They lack confidence in their ability to handle a potentially tricky situation so the most viable option is a speedy exit.
The Bulldozers are aggressive and hostile. Like their namesake, they plow through everything in their path causing devastation and damage. Ruthless, hurtful, selfish, and self-centered, their only concern is their own well-being. Again rooted in fear, they feel their opponent does not have their best interest at heart so they must fight and intimidate to ensure their own personal interests.
The F150’s are strong and confident. “Built tough”, they exude kindness, strength, determination and respect for all concerned. Their behavior is deeply rooted in fairness and justice for each party. They refrain from blame, are quick to identify the issue and immediately seek a speedy and balanced resolution. Respect dictates their every choice.

Before beginning the process of conflict resolution, keep the following in mind:

1. Remember to attack the problem not the person.
2. Find a commonality to bond and unite both parties. This helps to reassures each person that the other understands them and has their best interest at heart.
3. Approach as allies not adversaries. Show your concern for the other upfront.
4. Choose a neutral location to discuss the issue. If not, one party will have the upper hand which may put the other on the defensive.
5. Know when to stop and take a break. Unless it’s an issue of life or death, nothing must be resolved at that precise moment.

Remember, you can choose to be a part of the problem or the solution. Put your time, energy, and expertise into finding a mutually beneficial solution. Both sides will appreciate your efforts.

For more, read “Built Tough?” @

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