Dealing with Conflict
As mentioned earlier in this course, it is difficult to think clearly when you are experiencing strong emotions. Likewise, it can be difficult to resolve conflict that arises during a transition.
Conflict, both internal and external, can occur when you are so attached to an outcome that you become rigid or inflexible. If others also refuse to compromise, you can end up escalating a small disagreement into a deep bitterness that overshadows your relationship for months or even years. To help reduce conflict around a major event:
- Check for understanding by all parties. Assumptions can lead to false expectations and disappointments when they are not fulfilled.
- Listen without judgment. Sometimes people simply need to be heard. Ask questions to clarify that you understand another’s perspective.
- Control your expectations and emotions. Others may be incapable of doing this, but control yourself and do not take outbursts personally.
- Be open to alternative viewpoints. Taking an all-or-nothing approach puts everyone on the defensive.