Conflict is messy. Avoiding conflict is almost a guarantee that it will resurface and get messier. Just as there are different ways to clean a car, there are many methods for resolving conflict. Depending upon the type of conflict and the people involved, choices can range from protracted litigation to consulting your Ouija Board.
Most of the women I know shy away from conflict because they associate conflict with confrontation. That hesitation is largely gender-based, because we’re hard-wired to be nurturing. Nurturing and confronting are not what I’d call synonyms.
That being said, I’d like to point out that dealing with conflict does not have to involve confrontation. The only “con” that is necessary is conversation. The most direct route to resolving any sort of conflict is talking about it. Having a conversation includes giving equal time to the listening portion. As a Mediator, I use many tools to help those in conflict talk to each other, listen to each other, and actually hear what the other person is saying. When things start to get heated, I like to ask the louder person to repeat the statement, by trying to say it in a different way.
It’s surprising how much the communication improves when we stop to actually think about the words before we blurt them out. And for those who would rather back away than face a potential land mine, I urge you to pick not only your battles, but your words.
They are your ultimate weapon in any conflict.