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Handling Disagreements

  • State the problem clearly and honestly with an I-message. Make sure everyone involved in the conflict knows what the conflict is about.
  • Give the other person a chance to express his or her feelings. Show that you understand the other person’s feelings and opinions by active listening.
  • Have as your problem solving goal that both parties win and have their needs met so there are no losers. Do not assume that someone must win and someone must lose.
  • Deal with one issue at a time. Do not bring up old problems.
  • Do not blame the other person for causing the problem.
  • Do not mention past mistakes that the other person has made.
  • Do not try to tell the person you are fighting with what he or she knows or feels.
  • Do not be sarcastic or call each other names.
  • Be willing to make changes yourself. Consider compromise.
  • Choose the time and the place for the conflict carefully. Do not fight when anyone who is involved in the conflict is tired or busy with other things. Fight in a place you will not be interrupted or distracted.
  • Be open to your feelings and the feelings of others.
  • Do not be in a hurry to resolve conflict. Be patient. Managing conflict is not easy and takes time.
  • Do not assume the conflict has been fully resolved until you check with the other person.
  • Think about how you feel before speaking. If you feel like saying something nasty, take time and think about sending an I-message or an active listening response. Saying mean things to the other person makes the conflict worse.
  • Identify the similarities you have with the other person (i.e., you may both be expressing love in different ways, or both believe that it is important to win.) Often we can see only the differences.
by sebenl99 — last modified Dec 07, 2012 12:58 PM

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