When I ask clients why they let a problem go on for so long before addressing it, a common reply is, “I was afraid I’d create more conflict by raising it.” It’s an understandable fear. Here are some tried-and-true ways to raise an issue for discussion without making matters worse, along with additional tips for mediators and managers.
When a difficult conversation rattles you, using a centering question can help you get your balance back. Here are favorite centering questions I share with my clients, along with guidelines for developing your own.
What we believe about anger has an impact on what happens during emotionally charged conflict. Relief from the suffering of conflict can come from them changing how they act on their anger, of course. And it can also come from us changing how we think about anger.
We like to think of ourselves as rational beings, and yet we act irrationally in all sorts of ways. One way we act irrationally is with a type of faulty reasoning we use for decisions both large and small, influencing not just the agreements we reach, but also the process we use to reach those agreements.
Most difficult conversations ebb and flow between good progress and difficult moments, those times it’s a challenge to access our best selves and skills. Here are five common difficult moments and five powerful questions to help you through them.
The overconfidence effect is a natural bias toward believing that we’re better at something than we actually are. The overconfidence effect can distort belief in the accuracy of a strong memory, estimations of how long it will take to get things done, judgment about our intelligence compared to others, and even the reliability of eyewitness accounts. It can sabotage communication during conflict, too.
Being able to accurately discern someone’s emotional state is an essential conflict resolution skill. But even with both good will and skill, we have a fair chance of guessing wrong. Recent research suggests that when it comes to accurately figuring out what someone else is feeling, there’s one thing we can do that boosts our ability to get it right.
When words come out of your mouth that you instantly regret, here are some ways to recover from your faux pas and minimize the impact of ill-chosen words.
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.
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.