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Conflict Resolution Tips

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Step back and slow down
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Express strong feelings without blame
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Explore what is most important the
 Most of us repeat unhelpful behaviors in  Strongfeelings make it impossible for us to other person by listening and asking
conflicts because we are unaware of reallylisten questions out of curiosity
what we are doing  Use “I-statements” to express what  People do not usuallyenter a conflict bystating
 We can onlychange habits through awareness you’re feeling what is most important to them
 Plan what you want to sayto avoidsaying  Be sure to state a feeling(as opposedto a  You can onlyproblemsolve if you knowwhat
somethingthat will escalate a conflict judgingstatement) after saying“I feel” the other person reallywants
 Be sure to carefullydescribe the other party’s  People usuallyenter a conflict with onlyone
solution (theirs) to a problem
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behavior without addingevaluations to it
 The keyis to be completelyhonest without
Be clear about your intentions
and goals for the conversation
blamingthe other
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 If your most important goal is to win, blame or Let go of the myths about conflict
change the other party, the conflict will prob- ..........................................................................................  Conflict is not a contest—don’t make it one
ablyescalate, no matter what skills you use Be aware of how your own  Conflict is not always negative
 If your intention is to blame or change others, self image might make you
you don’t learn howto prevent the problem more defensive
fromrepeatingitself
 Onlybegin a conversation about a conflict in
 Avoidan all or nothing, blackandwhite view
of yourself—in this wayyou will become
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Remember the four principal
order to learn somethingnew, express your more open to feedback
approaches to conflict
views andfeelings, or to problem-solve.
 Acknowledge the conflict

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Take responsibility for
 If you resist, theywill push even harder
 To acknowledge does not mean to agree
Listen first to understand—ask your assumptions  Be willingto change
questions to explore the other  Be willingto let go of your interpretation—

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person’s story believingthat our beliefs andconclusions about
 If others feel listenedto theyare more likelyto others are “the truth” creates a lot of conflict ..........................................................................................
tryto understandyou  Share with others what you see as the rawdata When initiating a conversation about
 Leverage for change comes fromunderstanding, andhowyou interpret it (your thought process) a conflict
not fromconvincingthemyou are right  When others speakabout their conclusions, ask  Askthe other partyif theyare willingto
 It is rare for people to feel trulylistenedto and howtheycame to those conclusions have a conversation
still experience the conflict as negative  Tell themthe topicandthe importance of the

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 Be aware of your internal barriers to really conversation to you in maintaininga good
listening, such as thinkingyou are right and relationship
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strongfeelings about the subject matter  Allowthemto save face
Find common ground
 Be sure to note areas of agreement as well
as areas of disagreement
 Identifyingareas of agreement reduces
defensiveness
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Be open to learning new information

Resolve it if you can—call us if you can’t, (206) 443-9603 Or, visit us at kcdrc.org for more options.