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  1. new zealand association for christian schools principles of conflict resolution ross henson, associate resolve consulting group

  2. conflict with whom? • do you have anyone in your life who drives you nuts? • maybe it’s a child, a spouse, a friend a co-worker or a parent • picture that persons face in your mind as we begin this presentation • How do you apply these principles of conflict resolution to your relationship and see broken relationships become whole? • Let’s explore the 12 steps to resolving conflict

  3. 12 steps to resolving conflict Adapted from an article by Ron Jenson:used with permission • Learn to embrace and resolve conflict • Address your anger appropriately • Seek understanding not victory • Assume the best

  4. 12 steps to resolving conflict Adapted from an article by Ron Jenson:used with permission • Learn to share your feelings appropriately • Watch your tongue. Ask, is it true, is it kind, is it necessary? • Speak the truth respectfully • Attack the problem, not the person, Don’t use “You” statements; use “I” statements

  5. 12 steps to resolving conflict Adapted from an article by Ron Jenson:used with permission • Deal with specific areas, not generalisations • Seek and grant forgiveness • Deal with conflict personally. Go to that person. Don’t reprimand anyone in front of others • Be gentle. People are fragile

  6. step 1 to resolving conflict Adapted from an article by Ron Jenson:used with permission • Learn to embrace and resolve conflict • How was conflict handled in your life growing up? • most of us respond to conflict the way our families did • “Fight or Flight” responses - abusive on the one hand or run away, deny and hide on the other • Both of these processes are unhealthy and never resolve conflict.

  7. step 1 to resolving conflict Adapted from an article by Ron Jenson:used with permission • So what do you do? • You commit to resolve conflict routinely • You embrace it in the way one fighter embraces another • You try to get your arms around the conflict, evaluate it, not waste emotional energy but use your energy for positive problem solving • The next 11 principles will tell you how to do this:

  8. step 2 to resolving conflict Adapted from an article by Ron Jenson:used with permission • Address your anger appropriately • Learn how to handle anger • First realize that anger is not bad! • In fact anger is an emotion built within you in order to help you deal with impending danger the right way • Let me illustrate

  9. step 2 to resolving conflict Adapted from an article by Ron Jenson:used with permission • You are driving on the freeway and a car pulls out right in front of you; what do you do? • Well you may be tempted to do all sorts of childish things! • But hopefully I let the anger I’m feeling lead me to step on the brakes, swerve and avert a fatal accident

  10. step 2 to resolving conflict Adapted from an article by Ron Jenson:used with permission • Your response of flight or fight however is NOT right response • Instead, admit your anger and ask yourself what is causing it? • Again don’t waste your emotions by moping or screaming or being resentful. Instead let all the emotional energy go toward completing the next 10 steps:

  11. step 3 to resolving conflict Adapted from an article by Ron Jenson:used with permission • Seek understanding not victory • Learn to listen • That’s a killer for most of us • But you’ll never be good at resolving conflict unless you let go of trying to always win and focus on truly understanding • So keep your mouth shut and ask questions

  12. step 3 to resolving conflict Adapted from an article by Ron Jenson:used with permission • If you are feeling hurt by what someone said or did, don’t attack the person but ask questions to determine what was said and why it was said? • Instead try to understand the other person’s perspective

  13. step 4 to resolving conflict Adapted from an article by Ron Jenson:used with permission • Assume the best • Don’t jump to wrong conclusions • Instead give people the benefit of the doubt • How many times have you heard someone say something or look at you a certain way in a meeting and you thought, “She doesn’t like me.” • We so often squash good relationships at home and at work by assuming the worst

  14. step 4 to resolving conflict Adapted from an article by Ron Jenson:used with permission • This especially happens when we hear that someone has said something negative about us or what we have done • Don’t overreact • Remember we all get and give filtered information • So if you get disparaging reports about you from others, check it out - assume the best

  15. step 4 to resolving conflict Adapted from an article by Ron Jenson:used with permission • You might want to say, “The other day a mutual friend said he heard you say, or someone else say, some unflattering things about me. I know how messages get confused when they pass through people, so I wanted to check directly with you to see if you do have any concerns and/or see any areas in my life I can work on.” • Or you may instead just want to deck the person; but why should you stop and wait?

  16. step 4 to resolving conflict Adapted from an article by Ron Jenson:used with permission • First, you may have inaccurate data • Second, if you received accurate data you may need to do some changing • Third, at the least the person knows that there is accountability for saying those things and most likely will be more thoughtful the next time.

  17. step 5 to resolving conflict Adapted from an article by Ron Jenson:used with permission • Learn to share your feelings appropriately • Feelings are often confusing • Frankly most men seldom know how they feel • for instance my wife can say something to me that hurts my feelings and in my response I can express anger instead of hurt • Many men react to hurt with anger. It’s easier because anger seems to us to be about you - and hurt is about us

  18. step 5 to resolving conflict Adapted from an article by Ron Jenson:used with permission • It’s a little too vulnerable for most of us guys to admit that what you said hurt us • We are feeling unappreciated, disrespected and unloved. • And this is a two edged sword: • Women can eel the same way. They feel unloved, unappreciated, undervalued and taken for granted

  19. step 5 to resolving conflict Adapted from an article by Ron Jenson:used with permission • major problems in marriages can often be caused by the inappropriate management of anger, especially in the area of sharing our feelings • It is really not about the finances, the business, the kids, the in-laws, sex or other side issues. It is about how we feel unloved, unappreciated etc. • Here’s what we need to do:

  20. step 5 to resolving conflict Adapted from an article by Ron Jenson:used with permission • The next time you feel angry you need to do the following: • Admit that you are angry. Its OK, anger is just a warning sign • Communicate your anger to the person in this way. Say something like, “I have a problem when I heard you say…………… the other day”. • I felt hurt, upset, unappreciated (whatever is accurate) and angry

  21. step 5 to resolving conflict Adapted from an article by Ron Jenson:used with permission • I’d like to work through with you what you meant, how I can change and how I can make you aware of the affect your words had on me - give this a shot. • Don’t get discouraged if people don’t respond well • But this will improve things even if they don’t, because it is the right thing to do.

  22. step 6 to resolving conflict Adapted from an article by Ron Jenson:used with permission • Watch your tongue. Ask, is it true, is it kind, is it necessary? • Do you know how dangerous the tongue is? It is such a little instrument like a spark of fire but it can cause huge damage • It’s much like the rudder of a ship - so small but it can turn an entire ship

  23. step 6 to resolving conflict Adapted from an article by Ron Jenson:used with permission • You probably remember words a parent or others have said to you in anger • Those words just don’t go away. They result in you feeling unloved, unappreciated, undervalued • Well, you have the same power. So the next time you open your mouth, remember the power of your tongue

  24. step 6 to resolving conflict Adapted from an article by Ron Jenson:used with permission • Try these questions to guide what you say: a)Is it true? • Don’t say things like always, never, or other words that are absolute • Say in this instance or in my opinion or sometimes etc. b)Is it kind? • Hey think about it! We should be kind • There is never a reason to be rude, obnoxious, offensive or harmful.

  25. step 6 to resolving conflict Adapted from an article by Ron Jenson:used with permission • It doesn’t matter how horrible another person may be use the old golden rule here, “Do unto others as you’d have them do unto you.” c) Is it necessary? • So often we speak just to speak. Don’t do that. Say what is necessary. One wise leader said, “Even a fool seems wise if he keeps his mouth shut.”

  26. step 7 to resolving conflict Adapted from an article by Ron Jenson:used with permission • Speak the truth respectfully • You should always be truthful - that will keep you away from practicing flight or running away, denying or repressing conflict • Truth is truth but much of what we think is the truth is really opinion. And each of us thinks our own opinions are the right ones • Determine if what you’re about to say is truth or opinion.

  27. step 7 to resolving conflict Adapted from an article by Ron Jenson:used with permission • But even if it is just your opinion, do express how you feel about a situation • People deserve to know what we are thinking and feeling. If you don’t do this you are bound to be stuck in the same cycle of miscommunication, hurt, frustration and other elements of pain • By getting the truth or even your perspective of the truth on the table you are beginning to address the real issue and can get to its root.

  28. step 7 to resolving conflict Adapted from an article by Ron Jenson:used with permission • While you speak the truth, be respectful and treat people with dignity. • Be kind, generous, gracious, caring in your relationships • Being gracious will cause you not to practice flight – or demonstrate offensive, abrasive, bitter or abusive behaviour.

  29. step 8 to resolving conflict Adapted from an article by Ron Jenson:used with permission • Attack the problem, not the person, Don’t use “You” statements; use “I” statements • There are few things more harmful than attacking a person’s character • We do this often when we try to handle conflict, the key is our language • Don’t say “You make me so mad,” or “You are such a pain.”

  30. step 8 to resolving conflict Adapted from an article by Ron Jenson:used with permission • Instead use words like, “I have a problem…when I see you do this I feel…” or “it seems to me” or “I think that…” etc. • Remember when you use “you” statements you give the impression that you are attacking the person, and can back people into a corner • Using “I” statements give the other person some room to grow and preserves their dignity.

  31. step 9 to resolving conflict Adapted from an article by Ron Jenson:used with permission • Deal with specific areas, not generalizations • There are few things worse than making overgeneralisations • Men, don’t ever say to your wife, “You are just like your mother.” • This is usually not complementary in the first place, and second it is not totally accurate • Instead be specific. It is one thing for me to say to you, “You are a liar.” How does that make you feel? Probably worthless and defensive?

  32. step 9 to resolving conflict Adapted from an article by Ron Jenson:used with permission • It is too general and I am attacking you • Instead I might say, “The other day when we were in this meeting I heard you say……. This didn’t sit well with my view of the facts • Or can you help me understand the discrepancy?” • You see, there may be a perfectly good explanation, but at the very least, I have given you a gracious opportunity to address the real issues and clarify the problem without pinning you in a corner.

  33. step 10 to resolving conflict Adapted from an article by Ron Jenson:used with permission • Seek and grant forgiveness • These are two of the toughest things to do. • It can be hard to forgive or ask forgiveness • But we need to forgive freely and unconditionally for three reasons • First, it is the best thing for you. A great quote says, “Unforgiveness or bitterness is like taking poison and hoping it will kill the other person”

  34. step 10 to resolving conflict Adapted from an article by Ron Jenson:used with permission • Bitterness is like a “root” that holds you down from achieving your own potential. • Second, you should forgive because you free up the other person to seek reconciliation and forgiveness for him or herself • Third, you should forgive because you are so fortunate and forgiven in so many areas of your life

  35. step 10 to resolving conflict Adapted from an article by Ron Jenson:used with permission • Make an inventory of all the good things in your life that you don’t deserve – wealth, health, family, friends and forgiveness itself • You have so much do you really deserve it? • So pass a little of that grace on to other people • Then, learn to ask for forgiveness

  36. step 10 to resolving conflict Adapted from an article by Ron Jenson:used with permission • Try to use the following four statements on a daily basis: 1. I was wrong to have……………………….2. I’m sorry I caused you to feel…………………3. I’ll work hard at not doing this again.4 Will you forgive me?

  37. step 11 to resolving conflict Adapted from an article by Ron Jenson:used with permission • Deal with conflict personally. Go to that person. Don’t reprimand anyone in front of others • Too often we get frustrated and go behind a persons back and complain or gossip about them • This is cowardly behaviour • Be brave, care enough to confront

  38. step 11 to resolving conflict Adapted from an article by Ron Jenson:used with permission • But do it using all the principles we’ve talked about • What if that person doesn’t respond? Then bring one or two more people with you for clarification, your goal here isn’t to beat up on the person but to provide clarity about the issues. • You may even be wrong yourself?

  39. step 11 to resolving conflict Adapted from an article by Ron Jenson:used with permission • Be humble, share how you feel about the conflict and let the other person share his or her perspective • Whatever you do, don’t embarrass people in public • Give them the opportunity to address and resolve the issue in private first.

  40. step 12 to resolving conflict Adapted from an article by Ron Jenson:used with permission • Be gentle. People are fragile • People are fragile remember that • Treat people with grace and kindness • They are fragile like eggshells • The person with whom you are in conflict may seem like a hard-hearted jerk. But trust me they are fragile even if hardened

  41. step 12 to resolving conflict Adapted from an article by Ron Jenson:used with permission • So be gentle. Gentleness is the same word for meekness. Someone has said, “Meekness is not weakness.” And it isn’t. • Meekness or gentleness means “strength under control.” So think of a wild horse whose will has been broken but whose spirit is alive and well • You should be dynamic, powerful and intentional • Hey, your job is to speak the truth, but you should also be gentle, kind and gracious.

  42. summary to resolving conflict Adapted from an article by Ron Jenson:used with permission • Don’t hold back. Be a leader and take action. • These principles take you through the process of clarifying and resolving conflict • So now start practicing connecting with those closest to you!

  43. more information This presentation available online at www.resolveconsulting.net search on NZACS • Ross Henson • Associate • Resolve Consulting Group • P +61 430 072 593 • E ross@resolveconsulting.net • W www.resolveconsulting.net