Defusing and Dealing with Conflict

In the last few weeks, I have blogged about the pressures of #forcedtogetherness for different personality types –  how to avoid triggering negative emotions in your housemates and how you can help them and you through the stress of being at home. https://essenwood.co.uk/coping-with-forced-togetherness/

But what about conflict?  It’s inevitable that conflict will arise and when we are feeling anxious it’s even more likely to occur. 

What are the tips for defusing and dealing with conflict (and not just sweeping it under the carpet to pop out again)?

Escalating from conflict to crisis

Here’s my three step approach to handling conflict by Creating Space, Adding Value and Seeking Closure.

  • Create Space
    • Take a time out – to stop it escalating
    • Move to a different location
    • Be aware of and control your emotions eg relax your body, breathe slowly
    • Use quiet tone of voice and calm body language
  • Add Value
    • Listen to they are really saying and paraphrase their point of view
    • Use open questions, (“what” and “how”) to understand their point of view
    • State your point of view assertively but not aggressively (“I think”, “I’d like”, “My opinion is…”)
    • Watch the words you use (avoid “but”, “you should” and “with respect”)
  • Seek closure
    • Look for common ground and a common goal
    • Find points of agreement
    • Switch to the future – what are we going to do
    • Close the conflict explicitly

Your personality type also affects how you deal with and react to conflict – find specific tips for your type in my book

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