Couples can have big fights, frequent conflict, and even bicker all the time and still have healthy, fulfilling, and lasting relationships. How so? Recent research suggests that one factor in particular plays an important role in protecting a couple from the negative effects of relationship conflict: How well you think your partner “gets” you.
The space between
For almost two decades I’ve advised clients to avoid email and texting when tension grows in their important personal or business relationships. Is my advice still credible in an era so permeated by technology? A new study offers updated insight.
It’s hard to get fresh perspective about our situation or the other person when we’re trapped inside a conflict. This simple question is excellent for tempering our certainty, engaging our curiosity, and sparking a shift in perspective when we need it most.
When we become too wedded to our own solutions, conflict resolution conversations can get pretty stuck. Here’s a trick of the mind to help us stay flexible (even when we’re sure our solution is brilliant), courtesy of Pablo Picasso.
When you’re tempted to dismiss someone’s concerns as trivial, or roll your eyes at the things people find to fight over, it’s time to sit up straight and pay attention. Because you’re missing something…and it’s worth your while to figure out what.
One of the most frequent comments I hear from readers, clients, and workshop participants is, “I wish I had a toolbox like yours.” Well, now you can. [Read more…] about From my conflict resolution toolbox to yours
When we feel overwhelmed by a difficult conversation, we can get emotionally swamped and lose access to our good conflict resolution, communication, and problem-solving skills. Here are four quick techniques you can use when conflict muddles your thinking and you want your good skills back.
Some debates, arguments, and bickering go on and on, without leading anywhere (except to more frustration). If you find yourself in this kind of debate, or are trying to stop others caught in one, here’s a single question that’s almost magical in its power to help.
When we’ve put in effort to solve a problem, we want our solution, decision, or agreement to have every chance at long-run success. Here’s a powerful way to improve our plan’s ability to stand the test of time: Go back to the future and test it with a premortem.
Pressure-filled situations like difficult conversations tax our working memory. That’s bad news, since working memory is crucial for reasoning, concentration, and understanding. But here’s the good news: There’s a specific type of brief writing activity that can both reduce anxiety about and boost performance under pressure.
There’s a space that changes form and scale as we navigate our personal and business relationships. It’s the space between us, narrowing and softening when things are going well, widening and hardening in times of tension. The quality of our relationships, the degree of our happiness, and the success of our solutions are all influenced by The Space Between.
Our solutions are only as good as our understanding of the problem. There’s a good question we can use to help discover a problem’s roots. And we can turn it into an even better question by employing it liberally — more liberally than most of us naturally do.