7 Steps: For Conflict Resolution
Many people mistakenly believe that conflict resolution for couples is reserved for those who fight all the time. In reality, happy couples are generally the ones that have mastered the skills of conflict resolution and focus on the needs and feelings of their partner rather than try to win every argument at all costs.
There are several communication techniques, but in this article we will discuss a communication technique called "An Hour Glass Technique". Communication and affirmation are key elements in nurturing a healthy relationship so is your body language. Before you start, watch this important TED video on body language and the essential role it plays in effective communication and conflict resolution.
Each of the following steps takes one minute to complete. Use the hour glass to time your conversation. Take turns expressing yourself as the sands slip through the glass.
FIND A QUITE PLACE TO TALK
You can't be distracted by other things - kids, phone, commuter or even fatigue. Set aside time to really talk without interruption. Create an atmosphere of respect that allows each person to open up.
STATE YOUR DESIRE
State your desire for what you want to see happen in your conversation. Use an hourglass to time one full minute for each of you. Avoid using negative words, name calling, labeling or even. Stick to the immediate topic.
STATE NEGATIVE BEHAVIOR
State negative behavior you want to discuss with your partner. For example: "WHEN I come home from work and ignore me, I FEEL unloved, hurt and sad because I BELIEVE that your TV is more important than I."
Instead of getting the last word in, interrupting and twisting words around, listen attentively. Listen to each other’s interests, needs, position. Step into your partner's shoes as this will allow you to work with more rather than less information.
REPEAT AND VALIDATE
Repeat and validate what your partner has said without changing the context. “I understand that WHEN I … IT MAKES YOU FEEL…” By owning up to your contributions to the issue, you'll be humbled and it will also encourage the other person to take ownership of their part as well.
STATE THE DESIRED CHANGE
Each of you must propose an least one desired behavior moving from having my concerns and your concerns to our concerns. Avoid premature judgment of ideas. Establish the deadline and commit. By stating how your version of resolution would go at least shows the other person where you're coming from. "WHAT I WANT IS when I come into the room, just come up and hug me, tap my hand or give me a little kiss. That's all I need from you."
ASK FOR AN AGREEMENT
Ask for an agreement and outline in detail what the expectations are for each of you. Show strong alignment and support for the plan of action. Be clear about the roles from this point forward. Take advantage of the momentum and ask "Are you willing to do this?" and quickly develop the plan to see the fruit of your labor!
To recap, watch this:
Tip: Revisit the topic to evaluate how well the solution or resolution is working. If you have not made much progress, find a relationship expert to help you. Praise any progress made by your partner. Forgive and move into the future. Dragging partner’s shortcomings into present hurts the entire purpose for conflict resolution. Rejoice!