#18: Try this Method to Resolve Conflict Well–It’s Working for Millions, part 2 [podcast & video]


Have you ever had that experience where you are stuck in a conflict? You think you know how you got there, yet you don’t know how to get out, and you surely don’t know how to quench the fire that is raging!

I, Doug, am a master at getting myself stuck. Yet, even I have learned the skills to get unstuck and resolve the conflict in a healthy way.

You can too.

You greater than I

This is the second part of the proven conflict resolution method. (You can listen to/read Episode #17 for part one.)

How does this apply to Great Friends?

If you are human and your friend is human, you will have conflict at some point. How you resolve that conflict will decide if the friendship deepens or weakens. Having the skills to resolve the conflict will also give you the confidence to engage more deeply with others.

When you find yourself in the middle of a conflict or in need of resolving a sticky situation, here are 8 questions to ask yourself:

Here is a link to a video about these questions.  VIDEO

1. What is the only thing I can control?
You are in control of only one thing—You. We often want to make this about the other person. We dwell on the other person’s need to acknowledge how wrong they are in this situation. Yet, you can only effect you, not them. So, focus on what you are going to do to resolve this.

2. Am I for them or for myself?
This question often haunts me. It is amazing how quickly, I switch from wanting to do what is best for them to what I want. Notice within yourself if you are giving towards them or working to manipulate things to your desires.

3. Do I see how I negatively contributed?
If you are willing to admit that you contributed in any minor way to the problem, then you are well on your way to resolving the conflict. It can be very hard to do this, yet very powerful. Remember you are not owning up to the whole problem, you are acknowledging your contribution. I have seen large conflicts resolve with a simple, “I am wrong for _____________.”

4. Why would a rational, caring person do _____________?
Ask yourself this question and notice which words you don’t believe-“rational” or “caring” about the other person. We love to see them as an ugly uncaring person, when in actuality there is something that caused them fear or to fight the situation. It may just be a plain old misunderstanding! Find it, and you’ll find resolution to the conflict.

5. What do I REALLY want for ME, for THEM, and for this relationship? What don’t I want?
This gets to the core of the issue. Ask yourself these 4 questions and you will see why you care or don’t care about the other person. Be Honest. Make sure you can say positive answers to those questions or the conflict will only grow.

6. What question will I ask myself when I have lost it?
In the middle of the discussion, you may lose your cool. Come prepared with a question to get the blood back to the front of your brain, where the logical solution part lives. Here is one: Can you tell me more?

7. Do I respect the other person and do I have a mutual goal with them?
Make sure you have respect for the other person. If they are still the sub-human enemy, you won’t respect them and it will show when you discuss the issue. Find a mutual goal. Start with the goal and keep going back to the goal to keep things moving forward.

8. Did I hear you correctly?
Whenever you need clarification, and towards the end of the discussion ask this question. Rephrase what you heard them say and add, “Did I hear you correctly?” This phrase has saved me many headaches of minor misunderstandings. You will be so glad you double checked.

Helpful Bonus Point  After you have come to resolution, give the person permission to point out when you do this again or violate the solution. This will be hard the first time they do it, yet it will help you both stay together. You cannot demand they give you the same permission. Remember this is about you.

The next time you are in a heated conflict, pull out these 8 questions and you will be surprised how quickly you can calm yourself and find a solution!

Here is a pdf of the questions in a slightly different form.Template for Intense Talks

Question: Which question is the hardest to ask yourself?

Here is the video.

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