Tips for Approaching Conflict

  1. Assess - before saying anything to the person(s) involved, assess the situation.
  2. Request - Request a time to talk, either in person or via text, letter or email. In brief, neutral language say you would like to arrange an appointment to find a solution together about a specific problem. Describe the problem without blame.
  3. Prepare to Share, Not Tell - Get ready to understand and to work together on a solution rather than telling them they need to do or to stop something. We cooperate better with one another when there is mutual respect and contribution to the solution.
  4. Know What You'll Say - Plan to mention what is bothering you, how this impacts you and how you hope to understand what is happening for them so you can work together on a solution that works for everyone.
  5. Listen - When they speak, listen without interrupting or arguing, just as you want to be heard. If you feel upset by what they say, take a breath, be silent, knowing that by allowing them to speak their story you are preparing them to listen to you.
  6. Be Open To the Solution - Brainstorm and try resolutions for a period of time to see how they work.
  7. Make an Agreement - make an agreement, verbally or in writing, about who will do what when, even if for a short trial period with a date.
  8. Thank - the other person for working with you to resolve this.
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