Building Self Confidence Blog

Best Ways to Manage Conflict: Confidence Tip 149

Life Coaching and Confidence CoachingHave you ever heard that saying, attributed to American Indians, ‘Don’t judge someone until you’ve walked a mile in their moccasins’?

Sound advice. I know my perspective on someone has changed once I’ve found out more about the pressures they’re under. It has saved me from getting into angry arguments or unnecessary conflict.

The other day, I read an alternative version:

Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes.

I had to chuckle because it so accurately reflects most people’s fears and lack of confidence about saying something that might provoke an argument or an angry reaction.

The trouble is that at least 3 negative things can happen if you don’t give someone feedback or don’t say something for fear of conflict:

  • Your frustration builds up and affects the relationship anyway. People have told me they’ve walked out of personal relationships and walked away from jobs or clients rather than have the conversation or risk open conflict. Often, that’s been a very costly move for both sides.
  • You never get to hear their side of things and gain a perspective that might ease your frustrations and resolve the conflict.
  • You don’t get the chance to resolve the conflict in a win-win way. That’s a lose-lose situation.

How to Stay Confident When You Need to Say Something that Might Lead to Conflict

So what would be a couple of handy rules of thumb for addressing issues that might lead to conflict, confidently?

  1. Discover the power of curiosity. Rather than get into a competition where both of you are fighting to be understood, find out more about what makes them do what they do or think the way they think, before you put forward your feelings, thoughts and arguments. You may be surprised at how this approach can reduce their defensiveness and give you important information that will help you make better judgements.
  2.  Find positive ways to put forward your thoughts. For example, rather than saying things like, ‘You’re always late’, ‘You’re inconsiderate’ or ‘You make me feel….’, ask, ‘What’s a time we can both get there on time?’

Madeleine Morgan Life, Career and Business Coaching, Cambridge UKWhat’s your next step to becoming more confident with conflict and feedback?

Check out some suggestions below.

Warm wishes, Madeleine

P.S. Check out the Special Offers, Quote of the Week, ‘Useful Links’ to life changing free ‘stuff’ below.

Special Offers and Dates for Your Diary

  1. Free Coaching Discovery Session

If we haven’t worked together before, I’d like to offer you a free, confidential ‘Best Year Yet’ Coaching Discovery Session.

I have 2 sessions left to give away, in May.

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Quote of the Week about Dealing with Conflict

“Seek first to understand and then to be understood.’ Stephen Covey

Useful Links

"I've just read Madeleine's 'The Success Ladder' over the weekend. What a great easy and effective guide for any aspiring leader. It's very easy to read and most importantly the actions are very powerful which I've already started to implement. Thank you Madeleine and I look forward to sharing my success with you :-)" Adrian Peck

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