YOU GONNA WIN A CONFLICT …
… not at all. At least not as the only “winner”.
THE most important first:
A conflict is always a “good“ conflict when both parties (we are now referring to two parties) emerge as “winners“. Winners in the event of conflict mean that the parties do not have to give up their goals completely. Because, every conflict is about your own goals. For instance, to get something (usually you want to be right), or defending your own values and putting down the values of the other party (because they are not my own), and much more.
DECELERATION LEADS TO “UNLOADING”
Driven by global change, digital transformation, and much more that is bringing more and more change into our lives, we now have a very busy daily routine. In addition, there are all the things that were there even before the Digital Transformation & Co. and felt already “heavy to carry”: career pressure, responsibility for other people (in the family and at work), financial and health responsibility … life as usual.
Nowadays everything feels faster, bigger and more complex. Many people do not feel they are able to go with the pace anymore. Also, because of this feeling, we read, see and hear more. Not just passive. We are always online (for one person it means every minute, for the other every hour). Online happens a lot. We want to go with the pace. This will then lead to activities that we would have approached much later (and perhaps more calm).
An example: A new book was published. You are waiting for this book eagerly. At the moment of publication, you will find out that it can be read online immediately. Although you know that you have a mountain full of work in front of you, you read “quickly“ the book (maybe you connect them thematically with the work, then your conscience is completely calmed down). The result is that you invest time, extra time. But where do you take the “extra“ time?
Thus, we have less time, less time for important things. Important, such as clarify open conflicts. But we do not do that. Because, we do not have time. This is how our everyday life looks, constantly “busy“, without (or very rare) moments of deceleration. That’s why we “carry“ many open topics around with us … until Xmas.
Xmas is such a moment of deceleration. At least two and a half (at least!) Days where it is relatively difficult to be really busy. In this quiet time it can happen that smoldering conflicts – which could not be addressed for a long time – now comes up. Even if a topic is not always addressed directly.
HOW TO WIN A CONFLICT
- Stay calm (even if it’s hard for you)
- Avoid phrases like “You must / should / are always so and so“
- Do you even hear these phrases, then consciously control your emotions (stay calm!)
The key is communication. The communication with yourself (how do you allow it, that you are provoked) and the communication with your counterpart. Marshall B. Rosenberg was constantly being beaten by other children as a kid just because his name sounded funny. He wondered why some people are more aggressive than others, developing the concept of Nonviolent Communication (NVC).
The goal of the NVC is that your counterpart feels understood. As soon as that happens, any aggressive posture goes back. It even dissolves it completely. A NVC helps you to defend your position, to express yourself clearly and at the same time to build empathy for your counterpart. The result is a common level that the parties have agreed on without saying.
VERBAL COMMUNICATION IS OFTEN SEPARATIVE.
A study from the University of Colorado looked at how many times different cultures used words like “good“ or “bad“ and found that there were more violent incidents in the cultures that used those words more often.
This type of condemning language is also called alienating communication and responsible for people behaving violently. Be it yourself or others. In addition, you lose the ability of empathy. Empathy can be encouraged, but also “shrink”. The alienating communication is recognizable by separating behaviors, such as moral condemnation. We automatically assume that someone who does not share our values and behaves differently than we do would just have to be “wrong.” Subjectively, we are always right. If your partner for instance needs attention, you may feel it “exhausting”. But if you need more attention yourself, then he is “emotional cold” for you.
The main message of the NVC is that language defines our relationships. That’s why NVC sees itself as a language that is free from manipulation, fear and guilt. The NVC consists of four steps: observation, feeling, need and request.
THE 4 STEPS OF VIOLENT COMMUNICATION
1.) In a conflict situation, you should first just observe, without emotions. What happens exactly? How is the situation objectively described?
2.) In the second step your feelings come into play: What causes this situation for you? What is the feeling? Does she make you happy, sad, angry or confused?
It is very important to separate these two steps, because normally we go both steps (automatically) at the same time.
3.) In the third step you identify and formulate your need. This is what you do for yourself. Then …
4.) In the fourth step you formulate your request.
You describe the situation (“You never give me a call”) and what feelings that trigger you (“I’m angry about that”). You explain your need (“I need the feeling that I belong to you”) and make a request to the other person (“Could you call me more often?”).
It is difficult to separate your own feelings from observations. The Indian philosopher Jiddu Krishnamurti called this “watching without judgment” as the highest form of intelligence achievement. Also, many people find it difficult to express their vulnerability. Especially with the four steps of the NVC, you open yourself and move your feelings out. The better one has emotional access to oneself, the better one can communicate with other people.
#BEBRAVE – AND SPEAK CLEARLY ABOUT YOUR FEELINGS
What does this sentence trigger for you? Depending on that, you know yourself a little better now. Do you feel a resistance in you? Then ask yourself what your access to yourself looks like.
Do you feel anything other than resistance? For example, “yes, I would like to speak clearly about my feelings, but I can not”? Then just try it out and watch (!) Look at the reactions of your counterpart and the overall result of the conversation. Are you afraid to think about your feelings or even to talk? You do not need to be afraid of it. The emotion is part of your identity. If you ignore them, so you ignore yourself. Face your fear and look her in the eye … just be brave!
The next time you know what to do. Say it! Say what you want, not what you do not want. Negative phrasing is provokes more resistance and is counterproductive. It is also important that you formulate your requests as accurately as possible, in order the other person knows exactly what he has to do.
The NVC helps you to better understand yourself and others. The NVC is based on listening to others and always trying to find out what the real needs are. What people actually need is often not what they say they need.
THE 3 MOST IMPORTANT HINTS
- Watch your emotions
- Pay attention to your formulations
- Find the actual needs (yours and those of your counterpart)