Each of us is a catalyst for other people; that is to be expected. On the other hand, creating a problem based on the interaction is not inevitable.

Curiosity – about oneself and others –  and a willingness to learn different ways of relating to people is all you really need to improve your ability to communicate without starting or contributing to a disagreement. The skills are not hard to learn; just difficult to perform. It takes practise to execute them well.

If curiosity is the best friend of productive communication, the greatest enemy is defensiveness. For instance, do you recognize the difference in yourself between accepting blame and acknowledging the role your words or actions may have played in a situation? If not, the confusion will often lead to conflict.

It is vital to know the impact we have on others; the impact, however, is not justification for rejecting other people’s ideas or participation. Those are just a few of the first steps a person can learn to take.

In this section you will find eight approaches we use with individuals and groups to bring conflict management skills to them. Let us know what you think of the information. Thanks!

Carol J. Sutton Cert.ConRes.  carol@caroljsutton.com