Richard Cain, PhD, president of Health Promotion Solutions of Southern New England, LLC, offered a presentation on conflict resolution and better communication at a past Parenting Matters conference, sponsored by Bradley Hospital..
Cain suggests that before you begin to resolve a conflict, you must first ask yourself if you are the problem or contributing a large degree to the problem? Once you have answered that question honestly, you can begin to find a solution by following these steps:
Clarify the issue to the mutual satisfaction of each party
Express emotions, but don't act out negative behaviors.
Prioritize the issues about which you are conflicting.
Avoid provoking further conflict.
Deal with what happened, not why it happened.
Agree to disagree.
Carefully monitor your own and the other party's non-verbal communication.
Practice active listening.
Avoid giving advice.Use "I" messages rather than "you" messages: For example, "I feel _________ when you ________ because it ___________."
Deal appropriately with resistance.
Bring the resistance to the surface.Honor the resistance.Listen to the resistance.Acknowledge the resistance.Acknowledge the right to feel resistance.Explore the resistance.Address the nature of the resistance.Probe the resistance.Re-check each person 's position.
Develop an action plan.
Avoid early resolution.Explore solutionsMention and analyze alternative solutions to the problem or consequence.Choose a solution.
For more information on Health Promotion Solutions of Southern New England and Richard Cain, PhD, call 401-368-4944.
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