…(Continued from yesterday)
Let’s focus further today on a number of healthy ways to resolve conflict in any relationship:
4 EXPLAIN—DON’T BLAME
How to talk to the person you’re struggling with is where many people struggle. And those conversations often go sideways because people begin with blame. Don’t blame. Explain. Instead of saying “You always” or “You never” (which might be how you feel like starting), begin by talking about how you experience them.
If you’re dealing with an ‘angry person’ for example, you might frame it this way: “John, I just want you to know that when you get upset in a meeting, it makes me feel like the discussion is over and I can’t make a contribution.”
If you’re dealing with gossip, try something like: “Rob, on Tuesday when you told me what happened to George on the weekend, I felt like that was something George should have told me directly.”
Do you hear the difference between explaining and blaming?
Blaming others is a guarantee that the only person who won’t grow is you.
5. BE SPECIFIC
Giving one or two specific incidents is much better than making general accusations or commenting on personality traits. “The other day in the meeting” or “In your email yesterday” is much more helpful than “You just always seem so frustrated.”
The more specific you are, the more you de-escalate conflict and move toward a hopeful ending.
6. TELL THEM YOU WANT THINGS TO GET BETTER
What the person you’re confronting needs is hope.
At this point, they probably feel defensive, ashamed and (hopefully) sorry.
Let them know the gifts they bring to the table and the good they do.
Tell them you are looking forward to the future and want things to work out.
7. PRAY FOR THEM
I know this sounds trite, but it’s not.
Don’t pray about them. Pray for them.
It is almost impossible to stay angry with someone you pray for.
It can also give you empathy for them, and at least in your minds eye, it places you both firmly at the foot of the cross in need of forgiveness. It will take any smirk of superiority out of your attitude, which goes a long way toward solving problems.
“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”
1 John 4:7-11
A daily devotion for a better way of living.