Conflict usually appears at inopportune times. Sometimes we’re just not in the mood to deal with it. Sometimes we’re blind-sided. Unless a specific appointment has been arranged to meet and discuss, it’s usually an unhappy or angry person who broaches the subject.


Caught off guard, it’s natural to react, especially if the conversation starts out negatively. That’s precisely when the handy tool of asking questions is the perfect prescription. It can be as simple as, “why are you telling me this right now?” Or, the questions might be geared toward the specific topic.


The tool of asking questions has many ancillary benefits. Keeping in mind that understanding the issue through conversation is critical to resolving it, asking appropriate questions and hearing the answers will get you there faster. And, at the very least, asking a question buys you the time to choose your words instead of blurting out a reaction that might not be truly helpful.


Furthermore, asking questions shows you are listening.


If your listening skills need honing, or if you need a little help finding the right words to honestly express yourself, consider having this conversation in front of a neutral third party. A Mediator.

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