Proverbs 15:1, 28
1 A soft answer turns away wrath,
but a harsh word stirs up anger…28 The heart of the righteous
ponders how to answer, but the mouth of the wicked
pours out evil things.
4 steps to conflict resolution
I would say that anyone between the ages of 6 months to 100+ has had some type of conflict with another person. We live in a world where at some point our sphere of want-to will intersect with someone else’s sphere of want-to and BOOM! you have friction. Someone took your parking space, jumped in front of you at the grocery store, asked the girl you like to the dance before you, stole something that belongs to you, looked at you funny, dis-respected you, and-on-and-on.
It’s going to happen
There is just some much that can happen that could cause some sort of conflict. Really, it’s a part of life. Unless we seclude ourselves completely from the world, it will eventually happen. So the better approach, I think, is to have a plan for when that undesirable situation occurs. I recommend the 4T’s.
– The 4 T’s to conflict resolution –
- Time-Out: Pause before you answer. A small break can give you some time to cool of and think about the situation. It’s much easier to talk about a heated subject if you’re not already mad.
- Think: Run through what you’re about to say – does it fan the flames or extinguish them ( most know which will do what).
- Tone it down:Choose your tone. Will it be Smartaleck vs. Normal Voice, Yelling vs. Inside Voice, Condescending vs. Respectful, etc. It will make a huge difference which one you choose!
- Take a Side: It comes down to whether winning the argument is more important then saving the relationship. Is it about the team of me, myself and I or the team of co-workers, husband/wife, family, church staff, etc.
As you read through these 4 steps to conflict resolution, I’m guessing the thought crossed your mind that they are not easy. And you are correct. Following any of these steps will not be easy, but the outcome will be well worth it. Healthy Conflict is a step on the path to progress. You can’t improve unless you address those weak areas. And those weak areas are normally the areas that cause the most conflict. Don’t avoid conflict! Approach it with a plan and progress is right around the corner!