Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Conflict and Relationships: Predictors of Success

TV or no TV in bed?
Photo by Todd Turner

What makes some people “masters” with conflict?
How do they listen attentively and keep from being pulled in to fighting during the disagreement?
How are they able to handle the stress of an argument or disagreement calmly and rationally?
What can I do to develop those skills?

We will be writing about these today and in future blogs. Today we want to address the question of the characteristics that make people masters of conflict.

Some people are “masters” if the conflict does not affect them personally. Many lawyers are excellent in court but put them with someone that they are in a relationship with and they display the “fight or flight” response. So it is not just about being able to think quickly, it is also about being able to listen carefully and thoughtfully and respect the thoughts and rights of another (even if they ARE 10 years old.) while also standing up for yourself.

People who handle conflict are able to do the following:

* Keep themselves calm, or knows how to soothe him/herself, while listening to the other person’s point of view.

* Believe that the other person in the discussion has a right to her or his viewpoint and that, for them it feels “right” or correct.

* Is able to listen and verbally as well as nonverbally, let the other person know that they have heard them and understand their thoughts and feelings.

* Recognizes that, while they may hear and understand another’s side to an argument, they do not have to agree or even like what they have to say.

* Recognize that others have rights and that their rights are just as important an any other person.

* Is able to stand up for him/herself and present their point clearly and directly.

* Is able to continue to share their own point of view even if they feel “bullied”.

Easier said than done? Check back with us and we will offer you some ideas for how you can put this into practice for yourself.

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