A comprehensive Harvard study that has been going on for more than 80 years found that strong relationships are the most important factor for living a long and happy life.
Yet, many people find it challenging to maintain healthy relationships with friends, family, and colleagues. Fortunately, there are simple things you can do that will have a significant positive impact. Continue reading to learn five effective conflict resolution strategies.
1. Deep Listening
A conflict cannot be truly resolved until you understand the other’s point of view. The practice of deep listening is to let the other person speak their truth without judgment and interruption.
By listening deeply, you can connect to your own needs and emotions, and to those of the person you are listening to. You can replace that inner judge with empathy to understand why they feel the way they do. When they’ve finished speaking, you’re much more likely to respond with kindness and love.
Deep listening is generous, empathic, supportive, and trusting. You’ll create a space that is far more likely to foster positive interpersonal relationships.
2. Communicate Clearly
Effective communication is always a key ingredient for resolving conflict. After making the other feel heard, you must clearly communicate your feelings and needs without being threatening or frightening.
You can be firm on important points, but your communication should help to ease tension and build trust. Don’t use words that may hurt the other’s feelings, but be clear and assertive. Poor communication will lead to misunderstandings and confusion, which are major obstacles to resolving conflict.
3. Find Points on Which You Agree
Finding common ground has long been an excellent way to bring people together. If you’re struggling to see eye-to-eye, find points on which you agree to build connectivity and friendship.
By coming together instead of pushing each other apart, you’re more likely to find a solution that is smarter and fairer than either side may have previously proposed. To arrive here, you may initially have to set aside emotions and the main topic of dispute.
4. Prioritize a Solution Over Being Right
If interpersonal wellness is what you hope to achieve, you should prioritize conflict resolution rather than “winning” the argument. A conflict can be draining, and it’s usually a better idea to have a healthy relationship over being right.
You may have to compromise, or agree to disagree. Otherwise, you may be the issue if you’re unwilling to give an inch.
5. Demonstrate Emotional Intelligence
The Harvard study mentioned above also highlighted the importance of emotional intelligence. You can achieve this through making calm statements of fact, asking questions, and listening. Having the emotional intelligence to stay relaxed and focused in tense situations is one of the essential conflict resolution skills.
These tips should help you in your personal interactions, but check out a complete guide to conflict resolution for more information.
Put These Conflict Resolution Strategies Into Action
We’ve all experienced how unresolved conflict can weigh us down. But developing healthy conflict resolution strategies will arm you with tools to make life more enjoyable.
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