Riots. Protests. Arguments over wearing face masks or not wearing them. Social media fights over everything

This past year has already been full of lots of conflict and we are only 6 months in. Anyone else feel the weight of everything going on? 

It is not a bad thing to feel the weight as there are bigger issues at hand. I also think that indicates that we are listening, open to learning and growing in our understanding. 

There is a lot of conflict going on in our world right now. The truth is, conflict and tension are something we will deal with on a regular basis but the degree to how much we deal within a small amount of time differs. The fact is that conflict arises, sometimes expected and sometimes not, and we want to be able to know how to deal regardless of the situation. One of the things I have been thinking about a lot lately is how people deal with conflict and what techniques actually help are practical with conflict management. I wanted to share with you some tools I’ve used in the past:

  • Problem Solving: This technique is focused on collaborating with another person. If you find yourself in conflict but are open to listening to other ways to improve that aren’t just your own, this is a good approach to use. 
  • When to Use:  This is the preferred technique, if possible, as our ideas are not always the best. This is also great when used in a team environment or when you have co-workers in your space. 

  • Withdrawing: This is best used when emotions are high and the other party is angry or unable to hear the messages you are giving them. Silence can be helpful in situations like this in these moments. The goal is to not stop there and when things have calmed down, to re-approach the topic or conflict to work towards a resolution. 
  • When to Use: When people are emotionally charged and visually angry, it is best to say “we will have to table this discussion for the moment until we can sit down and work this out.”

  • Accommodating: This is a technique you most likely use a lot with your clients. It's used when you are building a sense of trust with the other person. Consider the question, “is this worth it?” with this technique. 
  • When to Use:  If you have a newer client or co-worker that you’ve had conflict or tension with, try this approach. The goal here is you want to build a relationship where you can have open and honest communication but aren’t quite there yet. 

  • Forcing: This technique is only used in a working relationship with a manager and an employee and when the problem-solving method has not worked after attempting.
  • When to Use: If an employee has done something destructive to the rest of the team, a client or to the business, this is a good technique to use in dealing with conflict. 

  • Compromising: This is a good technique to practice as there are times where people try to problem solve but cannot come to a solution. This technique allows for both parties to identify a shared solution where each one has to give and lose something. 
  • When to Use:  This is great to use with co-workers or someone who shares a space. For example, if you can’t agree on the music that is played at the salon and can’t come to a solution, try mapping out a schedule where you pick a day and the co-worker gets to play her music the other day. 

    Having conflict, whether or good or bad, can be hard and it is easy to shy away from dealing with it. I encourage you to consider a different approach and try one of these techniques. We want the way we handle hard situations transform us into being our better selves.