Managing Conflict Effectively – Preparing For “Battle”

Managing Conflict Effectively – Preparing For “Battle”
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Welcome to Day 12 in the series…

Yesterday, Jon looked at how our default approaches to conflict generally do not serve us well.  And as he concluded, it’s great to be able to minimise conflict, but knowing that it is inevitable, we need to learn to prepare for “battle” that will come at some stage.

When we think about it, it is foolish to know conflict will happen and not have a clear strategy for doing it well when it arises.  As we have seen, our natural tendencies of fight or flight work against the end goal of genuinely resolving issues, so we must plan beforehand how we will do things differently and demonstrate more helpful habits in the heat of the moment.  

One of the strategies to have in place is your “ground rules” – lines you will not cross with your partner no matter how heated the argument might get.  For Jon and I, we agreed we would never hit each other, we would not walk out of the house in anger and we would not threaten the “D” word – Divorce – just to be spiteful.  The point is to think about effective strategies that will help you contain the conflict and not cause things to escalate or be misinterpreted and add more fuel to the fire.  Ultimately, the goal is to decide what you will each commit to “doing” and “being” in the moment to remain safe, caring people while having what some might call a “good old argument”.  

For many of us, none of this comes naturally, which is why we need to take the time to think about how we tend to behave in conflict situations and then build skills that will help us in practice.  In summary, at a minimum, you will need to learn how to:

  1. Establish a context that you can focus on during the battle that will help you have the right mindset,
  2. Develop ground rules that work for your relationship, and
  3. Build and practise your own Anger Management Strategy so that your automatic responses are helpful when tempers start to fray.

In our Habit #2B online course – Managing Conflict Effectively, we take you through the detail of each of the above.  Find out more about this course on our website.

Of course, there is no shortage of information out there on how to manage conflict effectively. Whether you choose to use our content or others’, the sooner you make the effort to learn and establish some basic principles, the sooner you can begin to benefit.  Like a boxer going into a ring on “fight night”, the better prepared you are going in, the more likely you are to emerge with a better outcome. At the end of the day, its about learning to look after each other and the relationship by developing strategies that help you attack the issue, not each other.

Tomorrow, we’re going to be looking at top tips for “fighting fair” during “the battle”.   See you “in the ring”!

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