I don’t know of anyone that actually likes conflict. I certainly know some who do better at it than others… like my wife, for instance! It’s not that she can out-argue me, it’s just that her perseverance is so much better that I eventually raise the white flag because I, in wimp-like fashion, am too tired to proceed. Doing conflict well is an art, not a science. But there are some things to keep in mind that might help you develop your ability to fight in a productive manner. Here’s the list:
- Keep your communication short… don’t lecture each other.
- Don’t use absolutes (I almost said “Never use absolutes” 🙂
- Concentrate on listening and not what you’re going to say next.
- Work toward a mutually agreed upon solution, not who will win and who will lose.
If you follow these simple guidelines I am convinced that you will not only see better conflict resolution, but also less volatile conflict when you have it. Last, let me remind you that just because you don’t have a lot of conflict doesn’t mean that it’s not there. Conflict communicated is better than ill-feelings stuffed inside. So when you fight, fight fair!