Have you ever been involved in a conflict with someone where you haven’t said anything, but they get even angrier with you? Perhaps it was your closed body language, the furrow of your brow, the rolling of your eyes, or even a noise that you made.
Successfully managing confrontations and resolving conflict requires keeping your head clear, your mind open, and avoiding excess emotion so the other person feels heard and respected, and you can come to a mutually satisfying reconciliation. Here are some powerful strategies to do just that:
Strategy #1- Be aware of your responses
It is important to be completely aware of the messages that you are sending through your body language, choice of words, and even your tone of voice. We speak volumes with our facial expressions, even by the way we look or don’t look at the other person.
Keep in mind that your words account for only 7% of the message you are sending. That means that 93% of your communication is through your body language and the tone of your voice.
55% of the message you communicate is through your non-verbal cues – your body language. Your facial expressions and your posture actually say more to the other person than the words you speak.
38% of what you are communicating is expressed through your voice. When speaking, your tone of voice emphasizes and validates what you are really feeling.
Strategy #2 – Listen with your whole self
Sincerely listening to people with your ears is a noble practice. However, to completely listen, try listening with more than just your ears. Listen with your eyes! What do you learn from the way the person is standing, a facial expression, or a repetitive physical gesture? And listen from their perspective – what would you think or feel if you were in their shoes?
Strategy #3 -Be here now
Pay close attention to what’s happening in the moment, right here, right now. As difficult as it may be, listen with your whole mind. Silence your inner monologue and stop thinking about how you want to respond, so you can really hear what’s being expressed, not only in their words, but in their tone. After they have finished, you can reflect back what you have heard and then respond.
Are you fully aware of the message that you are projecting through your verbal and non-verbal responses? Are you fully present during the conversation? Being fully present in the moment will go a long way toward diffusing conflicts and having stronger relationships. There you go! Simply practice applying these three strategies and you will be amazed at how effectively you can manage and eliminate confrontations.