Tips for Approaching Conflict
- Assess - before saying anything to the person(s) involved, assess the situation.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Be Open To the Solution - Brainstorm and try resolutions for a period of time to see how they work.
- 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.
- Thank - the other person for working with you to resolve this.