New Years and Resolution

Resolution.   It often is considered to be synonymous with “goal” around this time of year.  But resolution also means agreement.

To those ends, some folks make “resolution” a “resolution” in the New Year, whether for better relationships with a friend, a family member, or something else (sometimes a credit card that needs slicing). 

Chrystie Fiedler offers four tips in a recent article for folks to consider when attempting to resolve conflict, and they are timely (and simple):

1.  Sit Down.   Do whatever it takes to reduce any adrenaline that is coarsing through your veins so that you can make better decisions and lower the stress level.

2. Play Detective.  Investigate the other side’s version of the facts and their (and others’) motivations before responding.  Gather, gather, gather.  If knowledge is power, then collecting as much information as possible is sure to have a powerful affect on making decisions.

3.  Show you are listening.   Paying attention to the other side’s quibble is a sign of respect.  Signals or actions that suggest that you are not listening creates an opportunity for the quibble to become increasingly emotional.  So, let the phone vibrate without looking.  Stop typing, writing, twiddling, etc.  and empty your hands.  Small things can make big differences.

4.  Make an Agreement.   Here’s the ultimate goal:  agree on a future plan of action so that the same error, mistake or problem doesn’t erupt again, says Ms. Fiedler!   Such advice really gets to the heart of the matter – do you want to deal with this dispute again (and again)?  Then, take the time to diagnose the triggers, the problems, and the issues and be prepared to ask for and to offer ideas to avoid them.  That may not solve the immediate issue of “who picks up the kids,” but it solves the ongoing and predictable issue of similar issues coming up again in the future.

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