The main reason for almost all break-ups or broken relationships of any kind is missed feedback. Say you are about to face a potential conflict because you and the person you are talking to are not on the same page, you continuously misunderstood each other and what do you do, how do you proceed?
Since this is a very important question, there a lot of books and articles, suggesting the answer and some say the sooner you tell the truth how you feel about the whole situation, the better, this applied to all sorts of conflicts, whether they are professional or private.
But is this always the right way to work out a conflict? Sincerely, most of the times – it is not! Why? Because people do not want to hear the truth about themselves, especially from others, and because sometimes we have a whole lot more to lose if we speak the truth, then to find some other way to make peace with the other.
Thought one should always know that speaking the truth is good and moral, but never forget that this truth you speak is only “your truth”, only your side of the story.
Many times, since we do not understand that there are many truths, our feedback to the situation resembles a lot more as a harsh criticism and this very seldom brings solution to the problem.
People do not like to be criticized and as a very wise writer and the developer of self-development course, Dale Carnegie, said: “Any fool can criticize, complain, and condemn— and most fools do. But it takes character and self-control to be understanding and forgiving.”
So now the question remaining is how to switch you feedback that resembles like criticism, to a feedback that gives positive effects and leads to good solution? You can try using these 7 steps:
1. Create a neutral space
if you like to be heard and still stay friends with the person you are in a momentary conflict, you must calm yourself and try to show the other that your feedback to their statement is not ill-willed and you have their best interest at heart, not just yours.
2. Ask for permission
Before introducing your feedback to the other person, you must be sure that they are willing to hear it. Never argue with one who doesn’t want to listen, that is a one-way conversation. But if you do recognize that the other wants the relationship to survive you should say how much you appreciate them and you too want this to work out.
3. Start the feedback with: ”I thought I heard”
Doing this you show that you didn’t assume anything and you respected them enough to ask again if they meant what you thought they did. You should never assume anything, because one of the main reasons the quarrel is started is because of making hasty assumptions. In our speech most of the time we are driven by our own emotions and if we are angry we hear things that feed our anger, if we are in-love we hear only the good stuff.
4. Describe how their words made you feel
Always describe how you felt when the words were spoken and most important never begin the sentence with – “you made me feel this or that way”, always say – ”I felt this or that”. If you try to reconcile, do not put oil into the fire. Also do not mix to the present conflict any past experiences, because you should remember that as much as this situation resembles to a past one, they are separate problems arisen in different times and circumstances.
5. Know how to listen
After you have given your feedback, it is time to start to listen. This means that you should really listen, do not interrupt, do not defend yourself, just listen the other side of the story. Doing this the other will know that you are trying to find a solution good for both of you and you respect what he has to say.
6. Suggest solutions
Now after carefully listening, the time has come to speak, softly, how you wish to be treated in the future so none of this could happen ever again. Here you can also add some good and positive pointer what both of you should avoid doing, so that there will be no next time for such a conflict.
7. End in a positive way
Thank the other for the chance to speak your side of the story, give acknowledgement that you took their side of the story into consideration, and be grateful that all has ended well.
I hope this few steps shall help you to resolve most of your conflict in a way that no negative consequences shall arise for you or the others.