Conflict is a part of every normal relationship. Even in the best of circumstances, people don’t always agree on everything. Strong, healthy personal and professional relationships start with people who know how to respond to disagreement in a positive and respectful way. Good conflict resolution skills really depend on your level of self-awareness. Understanding what triggers your anger, how to manage your stress and calm yourself down before responding, empathetic listening and thoughtful communication in a respectful, non-threatening manner will enable you to resolve life’s conflicts in a successful way.
For many people these skills come naturally or were modeled in childhood by parents and loved ones. However, for some, uncontrolled anger takes over and the results contribute to a breakdown of close relationships, problems at work or school, bullying behavior or always feeling like you have to internalize your problems and are being taken advantage of. Over time, this behavior can also contribute to depression, isolation, and physical ailments like high blood pressure or stomach problems. Taking anger management classes is one way that individuals can work on improving skills necessary for a healthier emotional and physical lifestyle.
The key points in conflict resolution are listening and communicating. Simply acknowledging the other’s feelings can often help calm down the situation. Some tips for being a more effective listener include:
1. Be patient and give the other person the opportunity to explain why he or she is upset.
2. Repeat back what you are hearing to be clear that you understand their point.
3. Don’t interrupt with your point of view until the other person has completed his thoughts.
Both non-verbal and verbal aspects of communication contribute to the outcome of the conflict. Take the following tips into consideration:
1. Explain your beliefs in a way that is clear, but respectful.
2. Don’t put the other person on the defense or make them feel frightened.
3. Don’t just tell the other person what she is doing wrong, but phrase things using “I feel” statements.
4. Be aware of and manage your tone of voice, facial expressions and how you are standing. If you are in their personal space, back up. If you are yelling, tone it down.
Learning to manage your temper and control your responses will lead to stronger conflict resolution abilities. Online anger classes are a great way to change the way you have been reacting to stress. They are perfect for busy people who don’t have time to get to a weekly class or one-on-one counseling appointments. Classes are available in different lengths, beginning with a standard 8-hour class. They can be taken at your convenience at any time of the day or night, so you can learn on your schedule. Most importantly, classes can be accessed from any Internet connected computer device like a Smartphone, Tablet, PC or Laptop and from any of the 50 states. If you are a truck driver or executive who travels a lot, you can learn from different hotel rooms along the way.
Many clients tell us that learning new conflict resolution skills has helped divert divorce, increase their status and promotions at work and/or helped them to maintain long-term relationships. Investing in your own self-improvement today will lead to a more satisfying and rewarding life.