Nance was asked by TalkSpace’s Brittney Saline about healthy versus unhealthy conflict resolution techniques. Naturally, she encouraged mediation for those who have reached an impasse. Below are some of her other points, which didn’t make it into the published article:
- A healthy response to conflict is generally results-focused, yet open-minded. We all experience conflict, and when we accept this as a universal truth, instead of a universal judgment on our value as human beings, we can face it more objectively. This allows us to see a broader range of possible solutions.
- An unhealthy response to conflict can be defensive and aggressive or passive and withdrawn. Typically, we are experiencing exaggerated responses to the instant conflict because we left similar ones unresolved. Our brain perceives this as a bigger threat than might be warranted. It can’t perceive a triumph because we didn’t fully resolve the past experience.
- Sometimes, it is best to remove ourselves from situations, especially when there is fear of imminent physical harm. We can protect ourselves and still love people from afar.
- Whenever there has been physical, emotional, sexual, or financial abuse, a third-party such as the police or an attorney should be contacted to stop the ongoing harm. In other cases, we might be free from imminent harm, but we still desire a more complete resolution that a counselor or mediator can provide. Each situation is very unique, based on the individuals, facts, and circumstances. However, most people seek third-party involvement when the conflict is between two people who must continue to interact at home, at work, about their children, in the same industry, during holiday gatherings, etc. Others choose third-party intervention so they can rest assured that they exhausted every opportunity to resolve a conflict.
- Listening and mind management skills are probably the most helpful in resolving conflicts effectively. We don’t have to agree with people to listen to and learn from them, and this is the best way to determine if there is a resolution beyond the obvious ones that typically come to mind. Similarly, managing our own thoughts about a conflict is crucial. Our brains generate between 30,000 and 60,000 thoughts per day, and we’re clearly not paying attention to all of them. So, let’s choose to pay attention to those that might reduce conflicts and make our lives better.
Click here to read Britney’s complete article, which includes helpful tips from others, in addition to Nance.
For more tips on conflict resolution:
Nance L. Schick, Esq. is a New York City attorney, mediator, and conflict resolution coach who focuses on keeping people out of court and building their conflict resolution skills. She helps managers and business owners have powerful conversations about tough topics, like gender and race. In addition to her legal education, she was trained in Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), and International Center for Ethno-Religious Mediation (ICERM). She is creator of the Third Ear Conflict Resolution process, author of DIY Conflict Resolution: Seven Choices and Five Actions of a Master, and an award-winning entrepreneur, who has been featured in a number of global publications.