10 STEPS: For conflict management
Step # 1. Willingness...The most Important!
Put disturbing issues "on the table" while they are still relatively small. This is the time when there is a "willingness" by both partners to show an interest in each others concerns.
Step # 2.
Share the problem
For both people to approach the problem with an attitude of 'us’ rather than from a position of 'me’ versus 'you’.
For example, when communication becomes an issue, rather than saying to the other "you don’t tell me anything about your day at work anymore", you might instead say "we don’t seem to talk as much as we used to about what we each are doing at work".
The second approach is non blaming, and is about 'us’. This makes it easier for both people to engage in a discussion from a position of openness rather that a position of defensiveness.
Step # 3. Everyone is right
Everyone is right in conflict. Take a good look at why the other person feels that they are right by putting yourself in their shoes (the skill of empathy), you could probably understand their reasoning.
Step # 4.
Blame in either direction is always destructive. Blame either towards the other or ones-self stops all lateral thinking and creative problem solving.
The trick is to always bring difficult matters back to yourself - in a non-blaming manner. Take a look at your part in the conflict and what you can learn about yourself from the conflict.
Step # 5. The trifecta
Prioritise the relationship and treat yourself and your partner with dignity, respect and care. Removing these three ingredients from a marriage is a quick and slippery path to divorce.
Step # 6. Keep it simple
When discussing the issues, keep it simply and stick to them. Try not to transgress into other subject matters as this can become too confusing for at least one person. It also risks you both becoming overwhelmed and therefore feeling hopeless about the problems.
Step # 7. Don't bring up the past
Be very careful when bringing up historical matters. Although these examples are tempting and relevant to the point you may be trying to emphasise, rarely does this strategy deliver positive outcomes.
Step # 8. No marathons
Keep the difficult conversations to manageable time periods. That is, don’t allow the difficult conversation to become a "marathon without a finish-line".
Be mindful that one person has far more to say and express than the other does, so it’s a matter of respectful to each person’s capabilities.
Step # 9. Don't make it bigger
Keep matters in perspective. A good approach is to not make mountains out of mole hills, which brings us back to Step 1. By putting matters of concern "on the table" early, then they typically remain as "mole hills".
Step # 10. Careful timing
Be mindful of the timing, mood, tone and place of when a difficult conversation occurs. These four matters play a strong part in whether the matter escalates or is resolved.
Copyright Humaneed 2015