You Want a Piece of Me? Resolving Conflict
Though this post is implying relationship with someone close, these principals can apply to any relationship: Relationship with self, work, co-workers, money, faith, kids, parents and significant other (to name a few).
Conflict usually arises from underlying expectation, or relational interest driving the conversation. The first step toward resolution in any conflict is to seek understanding. Here are a few questions to ask your self about understanding the underlying request/interest of the person or the situation.
Common Underlying Requests
RECOGNITION: Is the person in conflict asking to be recognized, or feel important? Have you acknowledged their significance? Have you integrated their ideas, acknowledged their feelings, or shared with them what you value about them?
SECURITY/STRUCTURE: Are you being dependable? Are you communicating enough detail? Is there enough predictability? If you’re the type of person that shifts gears quick with plans, do you give adequate communication and follow through with your word?
INDEPENDENCE/VARIETY: Does this person like a change up in routine? Are they requesting a little freedom for original ideas, autonomy, or trying something new? If so, are you giving the room necessary to partner in goals? Are you meeting in the middle or trying to drive the ship on your own?
CONNECTION: Are you recognizing the ways that support this person feeling connected? We all have different expectations to feel connected. Dr. Gary Chapman communicates extensively about love languages, and the different ways people feel connected (Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Receiving Gifts, Quality Time, and Touch). You can visit his web site at http://www.5lovelanguages.com/
GROWTH/DEVELOPMENT: Is this person requesting growth and development in their relationship with you (intimacy, commitment, knowing each other, learning together), growth their career, or knowledge? This person is usually a life long learner and enjoys the development process. They don’t do well feeling stuck. Similar in some ways to the person who seeks variety – they value movement.
GIVING BACK/CONTRIBUTION: This person puts a high premium on living life with a purpose. They genuinely want to be a part of making this world a better. They may manifest it through sharing knowledge, giving time, or giving financially. If so, how does this apply to the relationship they have with you?
Though all conflicts do not always get resolved, if we seek to understand the interest and make an effort to support the relational request, we have given ourselves the opportunity for a peaceful resolution.