Conflict Resolution in Relationships
It’s easier to fall in love than to maintain a relationship. Maintaining it requires hard work, patience and constant effort to make things work. But sometimes you get into an argument with your significant other. How do you resolve it? This action plan may serve as your guide to conflict resolution in relationships.
1. First, schedule a time when both of you are free from distractions. Ensure that you are fully alert and completely attentive to each other.
2. Prepare for the discussion by making a note with bullet points you want to address. This would help you to not forget the things that you want to say to your partner.
3. Next, enter the conversation with the attitude that you are looking for a win-win solution or at least a compromise.
4. Then agree that you will both use “I” messages and active listening. Listen with the intent to understand; not to reply.
Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply. ~ Stephen R. Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
5. Agree on ground rules. For example, if one person begins to escalate, he or she will call a timeout and return 30 minutes to 24 hours later to resume the discussion.
1. Decide who will speak first and who will be the listener. Agree that the listener will not interrupt or respond to comments – only paraphrase what he or she hears (for now). The listener may ask for clarification if necessary. (Did you say…?)
2. Take turns defining the problem for each perspective.
3. Talk alternately about the things you must do to resolve the conflict successfully.
4. When both of you feel understood, take turns talking about any areas of flexibility. Compromise or negotiate by offering and accepting influence.
5. Make a list of possible outcomes and solutions.
6. Discuss these possibilities until you agree on a solution to try. Set a date to evaluate the success of that solution, and tweak as necessary.