For those of us that want to have healthy conflicts, the following will help you up to your game…

What is a “conflict?”

90% of anything that you want to accomplish will require the help of others. Conflict is inevitable.

Conflict actually an opportunity to grow.

Things to ask yourself before your next conflict

What is your typical reaction to conflict?

What are you thinking and feeling leading up to the event? Do you believe those thoughts and feelings about yourself?

Do you avoid what you don’t want instead of creating what you do want?

What is your typical reaction to conflict? Why?

What is your typical role in a conflict? Am I being a victim, a villain or the rescuer?

How have you dealt with it so far or why haven’t you? What have been the consequences of either of those?

What is a current conflict you are facing, avoiding, or anticipating?

What are your thoughts or fears regarding this conflict?

How would you support a friend in this situation?

What is a healthy way to handle conflict?

Get the conversation started

“There’s something I want to talk about, is this a good time?”

Use “I” language

Own your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.

Instead of saying “you left me waiting,” you can say “I was waiting for 10 minutes and it made me feel disappointed.”

Another opener would be “I have a problem with…[fill in the blank]…”


Restate any questions that you are asked.

Ask yourself some questions:

What is the experience that I want to have?

What is really going on here? What are the facts?

Am I being a victim, a villain or a rescuer?

Do I want to win this conflict or solve the problem?

Can we come to a mutually acceptable agreement?

At any time am I shutting down or do I feel like I am being triggered?

Am I taking responsibility for my role in this?

Do I need to apologize?

Watch for assumptions

I’ve got the whole picture?
Assume: there are important things each of us don’t know. Explore their thoughts and feelings, reveal my own.

I know their bad intention!
Assume: I know my intention and can’t know theirs. I can only know the impact of their action on me. Share the impact on me and explore their true intent.

It’s all their fault!
Assume: We both have a part in this. Action: explore my part

It’s all my fault!
Assume: We both have a part in this. Action: Share my observations and acknowledge my part.

Feelings don’t matter.
Assume: Feelings are integral to the issue, in fact, in most cases, they are the issue. Action: share my feelings and acknowledge theirs are valid.

I understand your meaning.
Assume: I may be making assumptions about what you mean. Action: clarify meanings.

Rules of engagement

STOP trying to convince the other person that I am right. START to explore their perspective and their thinking.

STOP telling them how they are wrong or bad. START sharing the impact of their action on me. Find out what impact I’m having on them.

STOP trying to get them to admit fault, take responsibility or make amends. START understanding how our actions create the result.

STOP avoiding talking about feelings. START addressing feelings (mine and theirs) without judgment or blame.

STOP protecting self-image. START understanding the image issues we each face.

STOP trying to change their behavior. START trying to understand their behavior.

It is okay to take time out

If you are new at this, you may feel anger. This is your opportunity to call a time out. 

Remember that you care about other people

We all make mistakes. Remember that you probably love and care about the person that you are having the conflict.

Remember some mindsets

Certainty > Curiosity

Arguing > Exploring

Pushing harder > Listening more

Seeing them as the problem > Wondering how I am the problem to them

Either/Or thinking > And/Both thinking

Who’s right > Facts and Feelings

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In the aftermath of a conflict

Ask yourself the following:

I need to be aware that I am the most vulnerable to getting involved in a conflict when…

The type of person I most often find myself in conflict with is…

The things I do to inflame the conflict are…