Communication conflict happens. Even with good intent, misunderstandings happens and we find ourselves in the middle of a difficult conversation.
Sometime we find ourselves getting into communication cycle routines. Other times we see conflict start by someone sharing unwanted opinions on topics such as politics or religion.
Though we won’t always be able to prevent communication conflicts from happening, there are certainly way to prepare and prevent conversations from escalating.
To be prepared for potential communication conflict, here are a few tips.
1. Be Truly Present
Focus your energy on being engaged. Start by listening more than you talk. Lean in, look people in the eye and practice good listening skills. Be curious and ask questions. Say “tell me more.” And, be mindful of phone distractions. To stay truly engaged, it’s best to put it away.
2. Change your response
You can’t change how other people will behave, but you can change how you respond to them. If there is someone’s behavior you don’t like, don’t have to get angry, snarky or frustrated. Instead, choose to show some holiday grace.
Silence often works like a charm. Before things get tense, smile, walk away and have a positive conversation with someone else.
3. Breathe and Pause
If you find yourself getting stressed, focus on taking a breath and pausing. Take a time out and slow things down.
However you relax, find a way to take a step back and focus on what’s going well. Stay positive and do your part to prevent holiday communication conflict.
Betty Lochner is the Owner of Cornerstone Coaching & Training. She coaches small business managers on HR issues and provides training on workplace communication to organizational groups.
In addition, she hosts a twice-annual Women’s Summit that brings women together to learn how to become more confident communicators.
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