How to Communicate Effectively in a Conflict
The key to successful conflict resolution is communication. In workplace or personal negotiations, effective communication is paramount to handling conflict.
Conflict arises anytime two or more people disagree. If all parties involved don't communicate with one another effectively, a minor conflict can soon become a catastrophe and possibly even escalate into a physical altercation. Conflicts often end unresolved, with some or all of the parties feeling inferior. There are many ways you can avoid this type of fruitless conflict. Here are some of the best ways to communicate effectively in a conflict.
Always place yourself on even ground with the other party. Don't hover over them. This is intimidating and serves only to push the conflict to another level. If they are sitting, you should sit with them. Sitting is always a good idea in a conflict, across the table from one another.
Listen to the other party. Allow them to state their feelings and opinions. Wait until they are finished before you begin to state your feelings and options. Truly listen to what they have to say and ask if they are finished before you begin talking.
Speak in a calm voice and state your side of the argument. Express your feelings and opinions and make it clear that you heard and understand their side. Don't raise your voice and throw accusations at the other party. Try to take what they had to say into consideration and use it to reach a middle ground. Refrain from telling the other party they don't understand and don't insist you're right, even when you believe you are.
Don't follow the other party out of the room to finish the argument. If they feel the need to get away from you, allow them to do so, Let them return when they are calmer. You should avoid stalking out of the room before the disagreement has been concluded, but do leave the room if you feel you're going to have a blow-up.
Try to put yourself in the other person's shoes and at least try to understand why they feel the way they feel about the situation, even if you still disagree.
Don't try to get the last word in. Sometimes a conflict can't be resolved, but both parties can agree to disagree and move on from there.
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