Get Rid of Conflict
I remember a quote by Dale Carnegie – “People are not creatures of logic but creatures of emotion”. People respond not to what you say but to what they think you are saying means. That equation is hidden deep beneath their “reasoning engine”. Their response, if negative, is to their perception of somehow being marginalized by what you are saying. Deep inside, they feel devalued on a personal level.
That totally other-than-conscious response is a defense mechanism – protecting their inherent sense of significance. Significance is intimately connected to identity – the “I am”.
The internal equation is something like that – “I am important therefore I am”.
Significance is a universal human need. It underlies social behaviors, decision making processes, a desire to please others, a desire to accumulate material wealth, reproduction and creating legacies. All humans are perpetually and other-than-consciously seeking significance.
Conflict is different from a disagreement in a sense that disagreement is in response to logical evaluation of something taking place in a mutually recognizable context (such as an office), while conflict is an emotional transaction, with each party wanting to defend their position on the level of “being” right. In conflict, logic often goes out the window and emotion takes over, creating a progressively escalating reactivity.
It is useful to reduce conflict to a level of disagreement, and either create an agreement or agree to disagree, which is a logical decision.
How do you do that?
Keeping in mind, all people want to feel significant, ask yourself a question; “How can I facilitate you feeling significant”?
To be able to do that, you need to “get out of your own way” and recognize the fact that acknowledging someone’s fundamental significance has nothing to do with whether you agree with their point of view. Inherently they have the right to their point of view, as much as you the right to keep yours.
That question does not indicate you wanting to relinquish your position with regard to the actual issue, but to find a way to help the other feel significant regardless of their point of view. They will be much more willing to engage in a logical discussion with you when feeling acknowledged.
You may say, “I understand you have that point of view (say the exact the words they said to you) and it is important to you that…” and “I have a different opinion”.
Acknowledging them as having their opinion is already a validation of their significance as a human being in this situation. By sticking to the issue at hand and avoiding getting into “you are wrong” and “I am right”, allows you to keep the conversation at a level of logical reasoning, and opens the door to a possible debate.
If they are upset or angry, and you totally disagree with their point of view, you can still apply the same principle.
You can say, “I can see you are angry and you have that point of view (whatever it is)”. By acknowledging their emotional state, you are acknowledging their significance. This small shift will alleviate their level of hostility (if hostility is present) many – fold.
You may also create an alliance with them – bring them onto the same page as you are by saying – “I can see you are angry and you have that point of view, and I would like to come to some kind of an agreement, how can WE do this?” Wait for their response.
By responding to you they are acknowledging their own and your significance, and subconsciously creating and alliance with you, as you are now working on the same issue from a common point of intent.
That is a powerful conflict reducer.
When you decide that you are not convinced to switch to their point of view, you have made that decision logically, and can walk away without feeling angry of dissatisfied. After all, people are entitled to having their own point of view. Are they not?
The upcoming Certified NLP Practitioner Training will help you demystify conflict and give you the tools to take control of conflict situations.
You will learn the skills to take control of your own emotions, gain communication skills to build rapport, even with the most difficult people, learn the language of influence, and quickly determine the right outcome for the situation.
Remember, you are the only constant in every situation. How you position yourself in a situation, determines your results.
If you want to explore NLP a bit further, get answers to personal and professional questions you have been struggling with, need more clarity around any issue, or find out how you can attend the upcoming training, book a FREE 30 – minute breakthrough session with Anita Kozlowski, NLP Master Trainer.
This may be the most important call you have ever made.