There are three steps to transforming potentially destructive conflict to a conflict in which something new will emerge. These steps have everything to do with you and very little to do with the other person other than how they choose to react. It’s really all about trigger management- managing your own reaction to situations that bring up conflicting feelings within you.
The acronym for the 3 steps is “NiRiCo” next best thing to a miracle ; )
Step 1) “Name it” : When we feel we are entering conflict this brings up fight or flight, neither of which creates an opening for something new. Fighting makes one side “right” and flight avoids the conflict. FIght or Flight is driven by intense emotion and allows the emotion to have us, to drive us rather than us having the feeling. When you feel you are confronting a potential conflict ask yourself “ What feelings am I experiencing?”. Fear. Anger, than go deeper, “why am I afraid/angry?” Use 5 whys to get to the heart of your feelings. This will do 2 things, first it will help you understand yourself and second you will gain distance from the feeling- you will have it.
Step 2) “Reframe it”: Now let’s look at the other person, what is it about how I am feeling and acting that may be triggering them? What are they concerned about? What might be driving them? This will open the door to empathy and understanding. You might even ask them some open ended clarifying questions so that you better understand their point of view.
Step 3) “Claim the Opportunity”: This is all about claiming the opportunity. Now that you understand what is driving you and the other party there is an opportunity for a win win approach to emerge, basically transforming a disagreement into a new mutually beneficial understanding.
Now if your just too triggered, meaning your fear or anger just owns you, take a time out. Offer to revisit the issue when you are feeling cooler. This is NOT flight, it’s basically a reset, and super important that you offer a day and time to revisit when you know you will be chill. Than, once your starting to relax, go through steps one and two again to prepare for that date.