Mutual Understanding: The Start of Conflict Management

a.k.a. How to avoid tripping over your feet and theirs in the 3-Step Dance

Mutual Understanding, beyond blind spot, dancingWhen communication gets off track, it often seems as if there are only two steps: Something happens and I react. You respond to my reaction, and now we’re squaring off for battle!

Here’s the good news: There actually are three steps.

1.    Something happens.
2.    I interpret the event, and then
3.    I react to my interpretation.

We can learn to deal with this situation by using conflict resolution skills that acknowledge the existence of the three steps, and enable us to separate the person from the problem. This effective communication process allows us to check out assumptions, share concerns and adjust our understanding of what’s going on.

It is the middle step makes all the difference. This is where genuine personal power lies – in the ability to grow, change our interpretations, and alter our behaviour. So, if your communication boogie is stuck in the classic 2-Step when everyone else seems to be doing the jitterbug, you may be missing that crucial step. Communication skills training could be your answer!

Copyright(c) 2015 Carol J. Sutton Cert.ConRes.

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