Hi, everyone, its Sal Celly. Hope you all are doing great. I wanted to do a quick post on conflict management and prioritization. We did the earlier blog where we talked about conflicts where you had a role to play, either due to your behavior or you were stressed or you were anxious, and you rubbed people the wrong way, because of potentially poor prioritization of tasks. And as a result, you had a role to play in the conflict. In that particular video and blog, I mentioned that we would cover part two, where the conflict is not due to you, but is due to external factors, which could be another person, or it could be another situation. So today, I’m going to talk a little about how do we cover conflict management that has been caused due to somebody else? So let’s talk about that.
Who Caused the Conflict
The first step is to figure out who is causing the conflict. And is that something in your control? Or is it not? And what do I mean by that? The conflict could be due to an external situation in the environment, it could be a trigger, it could be something that you had no control over. Or it could be caused by another person who you have a relationship with. Now, why is the difference important? Because the key to understand how to live a balanced and peaceful life without negatively impacting your mental wellness, and overall physical health and your overall psychological and emotional health is to figure out, is this something you can control? Or is it not? If it is something that you cannot control, then don’t worry about it, you had nothing to do with it, nothing you do, or change is going to impact the situation. So why worry?
Why does Conflict Occur
Steve Jobs had a great quote, and it said, “Your time is limited. So don’t waste it living someone else’s life.” This is really important. Your time is limited. Don’t waste it, living someone else’s life. Why does the conflict happen? It happens due to fundamentally a difference of opinion. The other person thinks that you needed to do something, you did something else, and there’s a difference of opinion. You’re not going to try to change the other person that is futile. Don’t even try it that will unnecessarily create stress and pressure for you. What you can do is how you can react to the situation and you can change yourself.
Importance of Listening
If it is a conflict that you had no control over, you do have control over how you react to it. You can either get all flustered and get emotional and flare up and blow up, which typically doesn’t help the situation because it only makes it worse, or you can take a step back. And without judgment, and without the pressure to respond or reply. you can try and understand and listen to the other person. Listening doesn’t mean you’re agreeing. It is not a sign of weakness. You’re listening without judgment, to get to understand the other person’s point of view, and where they’re coming from. It’s very important.
God has given you two ears and one mouth for a reason. Listen more, talk less, particularly when you’re in a conflict. You may want to put yourself in the right frame of mind by saying, let me just listen without reacting to what the other person is saying. That does two things. One, it shows that you have the maturity to at least hear the other person out-sometimes all they need is somebody to hear them. They’re not looking for a solution. They just want to be heard. So give them the courtesy and do yourself a favor and listen.
There is a difference between listening and hearing. Listening is when you are focusing on what the other person is saying and what they’re not saying, and reading between the lines, and trying to understand where they’re coming from. A person reacts based on thoughts, feelings and emotions. Thoughts, feelings and emotions impact your actions and your behavior. So if they are behaving in a particular way, it’s because their thoughts, feelings or emotions are driving that behavior. So by listening to them, you may be able to identify what is contributing to that behavior. And that can help you resolve the conflict, or, if not, at least, not escalate the conflict.
Steps Involved in Conflict Management
So that’s the first step-listen, and understand why the person is behaving in a particular way. It may have nothing to do with you-they may be a situation at their home, there may be a situation in their environment that is causing them to trigger and react and that is causing them to act like this. By listening and focusing on the other person, you will be able to identify what is causing that behavior. Does that change anything? Maybe, or maybe not, but at least it’ll give you a better perspective of where they’re coming from. So that’s the first step, listen.
The second step is, don’t try to solve the problem. The problem is not yours to solve, you didn’t cause the problem- the conflict happened due to a situation out of your control. So don’t try to solve it. You can choose to react to it in a different way-you could react in a neutral way instead of a negative way. Or you could think about what is this situation trying to teach me? What is God trying to teach me instead of why is this happening? Listen to the other person, introspect. control how you react to the conflict.
The third step is Empathy. Sometimes it is important to walk away and take some time and hear the person out again. And then give your opinion. You have to be careful in how you handle this because empathy, and trust is key. Always have that. Always be respectful, don’t attack the other person. Because that will only exacerbate the conflict. You want to help resolve or at least prevent the conflict from escalating. So listen, choose how to react, take a step back, give it some time, and maybe come back to the situation.
If that doesn’t help, You may need to get external intervention and you may get to pull in a mediator or another person. This is the fourth step. Use the other person to gain feedback or to bounce ideas with them. Never attack the person. The person is behaving in a particular way due to reason. Sometimes, when you introduce an external, unbiased and objective person into the mix, it helps and the situation can improve. It helps reduce the pressure, reduce the tension and recalibrate the situation for potential resolution and de-escalation.
Hopefully this helped give you some action items to think about how you can handle a conflict that is not caused by you. For further details or to learn practical ways to manage a conflict email me at email@example.com Thank you for reading and take care.