How often do you do things that you don’t like, don’t want or don’t agree with? For example, your partner wants to attend an event, and it does not interest you. In this case the minimal effect of this disagreement is dissatisfaction for both of you, the maximum effect is a resulting conflict. Another situation is that at the workplace your boss promised not to give you additional work, because you are working on a very important project. However, a few days later you find a new file on your desk requesting that it be looked at today. At the very least, you may think that your boss speaks irresponsibly, a worst case scenario is that you start a workplace conflict which may escalate to certain level.
There is an excellent and simple solution that enables people to de-escalate in cases of disagreements and in conflict negotiations, which also helps to strengthen boundaries. Today’s communication between people is quite dynamic and we usually do not have time for long conversations and explanations, although we should. Much is lost when we assume that the other person knows our reactions, thoughts and/or feelings. Moreover, it’s a case of misunderstanding, they start to create their own pictures and who knows how far their imagination may go. Therefore, practice being more attentive and detailed in your verbal communication.
For example, if you want something from another person or another person wants something from you, instead of using short comments clearly state why and what you need this for. Instead of such phrases “because I need it / do not need it”, “because I want it / do not want it”, “trust me, I know why I do it / do not do”, “I can’t”, etc., justify the reason. In the situation when your partner wanted to go to the event, and you didn’t — explain your “why’s”. In this case your comments might sound like “I don’t want to go to the event with you, because I need to have a rest” or “I don’t want to go to the event with you, because I don’t want to meet with …” or “I don’t want to go with you to the event, because I don’t have a new dress, and I’ve already been seen in the old one” and so on.
Or, in the situation when your boss gives you additional tasks and you are thinking of how to deal with this growing conflict at work, you can say the following “I cannot undertake this additional work because it will delay the delivery of my main project” or “I cannot do both, the project and the additional work in parallel, because it may affect the overall quality of each”.
Thus, you connect your behavior to your own needs. Simple enough, right? Use the same algorithm when you act from the other side and help the other person, be it your partner, boss or a child, to clarify their position.
As well, at our Effective Listening training, we learn how to ask timely and correct questions which are important in establishing good relationships, transparency and mutual understanding. In fact, many people feel uncomfortable asking questions for a variety of personal reasons. We teach you how to ask questions safely and effectively that create a comfortable and safe environment for you and the other person.