7 Steps To De-escalation Of Conflict
Have you ever been caught in an upward spiral of arguing? It seems to get worse and worse, no matter what you try. Here are 7 excellent ways to reverse that spiral of anger and frustration. You can begin to bring the level of conflict down by doing the following.
- Listen – Showing a desire to understand signals that you are open to hearing his/her point of view. Listening (without jumping in to respond) can calm down the atmosphere.
- Show tact and concern for his/her feelings – Be careful about sensitive issues. Don’t jump in with attacks on his/her vulnerable areas.
- Appeal to reason – Suggestions that you both ‘stop and think’ can help. Also, noting that inflamatory talk isn’t going to get you anywhere can help. Suggest that you both return to the topic at hand and not bring in the past may help you get back on track.
- Show goodwill – Making a small concession can show goodwill and encourage more of the same.
- Accept his/her feelings – Often anger has to be expressed before it can quiet down. If you shut him/her down, get defensive, or attack as soon as you sense anger, the conflict will continue to escalate.
- Stick with the problem at hand – Don’t bring in the past, his/her family, old grievances. Stay on topic.
- Take a break – If you aren’t getting anywhere, and even if you are, set a time limit. Stop and continue at another designated time, never in the middle of the night.