You CAN Improve How You Manage a Conflict
Dealing with conflict is never easy, often people try to avoid it all together. In the moment, avoiding it can seem like a great idea but the problem with avoidance as a strategy is that things never really get resolved. And when things don’t get resolved, they don’t always go away …. they often simmer below the surface just waiting to boil over.
When you ignore a conflict it doesn’t just magically go away
While disagreements simmer, they still do damage. Relationships erode slowly as we check in on that simmering resentment every time we see, talk to, or hear about the other person involved. It changes the way we react to them, even if we don’t see it. Often people who avoid dealing with a conflict will also start avoiding situations that involve the other person, this means missing out on events, celebrations, meetings or opportunities.
Most of us already have enough stress in our lives, and that lingering dispute just adds to it. We toss and turn at night thinking about the unresolved or we get worked up re-telling the story of the disagreement to a friend. Avoiding in the long term isn’t nearly as helpful as it seems in the short term.
But what to do? You can’t always confront the other person, sometimes you’re not ready and sometimes you just don’t want to. That doesn’t mean you need to avoid dealing with the conflict though, there are options to help you manage things from your side.
You have options, you CAN manage this better!
When you deal with a conflict, even just from your side, what you end up doing is changing the way you see it. When you change the way you see a conflict, you change the way you manage it. Your reactions change when your buttons get pushed, your perspective shifts, you start to see possible solutions that you couldn’t see when you were in the heat of the moment.
It’s not always easy, but it’s usually worth it.
That’s worth repeating, and really considering…. It’s not always easy, but it’s usually worth it. We can’t fix what we don’t face.
You can’t fix what you don’t face.
One of the options you can use to help you deal with conflict is Conflict Coaching, or as we like to call it here; Conflict Consulting. Conflict Consulting is a confidential one on one service that lets you face a conflict without having to sit down face to face with the other side. It involves talking through emotions, reactions and strategies with someone who is impartial and can see beyond the frustration.
While your support system may be awesome at agreeing with you and giving you a shoulder to cry on, they may not be so great at being impartial. Because they know you, they like you, they have feelings invested in you and maybe even the other side. Working with someone neutral and outside the situation takes away the blinders that your support system might have. It allows you to talk to someone with a fresh perspective, and objective questions. It allows you to start talking to someone who helps you focus on solutions instead of just agreeing with you.
Talking to someone outside of the situation helps take the blinders off
Because facing a conflict can be stressful and difficult on it’s own, I’m really excited to be offering a new service. In addition to my usual conflict consulting services, which can be done in person, or over video chat, I’m now offering Walks with Walter. These are 4 one hour sessions where we work on your conflict while walking. Studies have shown that walking increases your creative problem solving abilities, and the mindset of moving forward while waling forward can really benefit the way you think.
And what does Walter add to it all? Well, he’s just the sweetest thing. Walter is calm, compassionate and tall enough that you don’t have to bend too far down to pet him. Science tells us that dogs are great for calming us, reducing stress, and increasing our feel-good hormones. It means that while dealing with your stressful situation, and while talking with me, you’ll have the ability to stop and take a minute to calm down and pet the dog. It means that just his presence will help you open up and feel safe. And it means that you’ll make a new furry friend for life.
I’m passionate about resolving conflict and getting people on the path to peace. I’m positive that this service is going to benefit a lot of people. Walks with Walter won’t be for everyone, not everyone is in a place to be able to walk, and I get that not everyone loves dogs. So our normal conflict coaching service is still available too. This is just another option in our toolbox to help.
Let’s start facing those conflicts, let’s get you started on that path to peace!
Sarah is the owner and lead mediator here at Empowered Results Mediation. She does her best thinking while walking Walter and she’s very excited to share that with her clients. Walter is just excited about the extra biscuits coming his way!
Learn more about Empowered Results Mediation www.empoweredresults.ca/about