How to Handle Conflicts

No one really teaches us to handle conflicts.
Hollywood teaches us to act in an escalating fashion instead of calming it down and seeking to understand before being understood, most parents aren’t good at handling conflicts; they tell the children “It is my way or the highway” and schools work by using a “follow the rules or be punished philosophy”.

Interpersonal relationships
In reality we live in an interpersonal society, a society that forces us to work with other people, to respect others. If you cannot handle disagreements you will severely hurt your chances of success.

To succeed you need to understand others, respect them and listen.

We all have our own map of reality
We all have guiding maps in us; a layout of how we believe the world is built.
These maps do not show the world as it is, it shows the world as we perceive it through our lenses, our upbringing, beliefs and values.

This means that no one really sees the world as it is, we see it as we want or believe it to be. When someone disagrees with you it isn’t because they wish to annoy you or fight with you, they just see the world in a different way.

By trying to understand them there is a lot you can learn, you might need to update your own map or you can at least learn that some people look at a situation in a different way.

Since none of you see the truth, what makes them wrong?
Respect them and ask, if they don’t agree, why not?
You might learn something.

Seek first to understand then to be understood
A good rule to have with you is to try to first understand the others point of view before you pitch your own. When you do you show the other that you respect them which opens them up to your arguments, it makes them willing to listen to you.

I remember the first time I really tried empathic listening, I was having a discussion with my wife about an issue and we just couldn’t agree. We both kept proving our point to the other with logical arguments; the problem was that none of us were open to the others arguments.

You have probably been in the same situation yourself.

After a while I decided to try empathic listening, I decided to truly try and understand why my wife disagreed with me, she is smart (often much smarter than me) so why couldn’t she see the logical truth, why did she keep her standpoint?

I listened, asked and truly tried to understand.

Finally I did and it turned out that she was arguing for something very much like my own idea, but she had a few twists that we could build upon, all of a sudden we started working together to find a good solution and before long we had come up with a solution that worked a lot better than any of our initial ideas.

The difference listening can do to making your point is incredible, try it, listen without the intent to interrupt, try to understand and when the other part agrees that you have fully understood you can try to prove your point, I promise that they will be more open to you if they feel you were open to them first.

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Related posts:

  1. Selling Without Talking; The Art of Listening
  2. How Do We Buy? Part 3 – Why A Customer Will Be Pleased You Present Your Product
  3. 8 Stress and Anger Management Techniques
  4. A Promise of a Brighter Future
  5. How do you Handle a Customer Dying?
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