What are some conflict resolution tips?

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 17,793
    Family-law attorney John Spiegel discusses conflict resolution tips, including taking turns talking and listening, using neutral language, and having a level of confidentiality.

    Host: What are some conflict resolution tips?

    John Spiegel: There are three key things that always can work when people are having a discussion. The first is take turns talking and listening, so that each person gets a chance to be fully heard. If you can tick like a kitchen timer and maybe agree, Okay we are going to have conversation where we each get three minutes to talk without interruption and where we know that the other person is going to give us their full attention, there is something almost magical about that.

    Now, see you would set the timer one person would be talker, then the timer goes off and then you switch and the person that has been listening will start talking and the other person will listen and you can do as many rounds of that as you need to do. That will make a huge difference in any discussion. Second thing is that when you are speaking to other person, the concept of neutral language can be very, very helpful. If you can think about the choice of words and for example, instead of saying, Well, you will never do this or you always do this, to say something that has the same content but different tone.

    So you might say, I seldom see you blah, blah, blah, whatever it is, something that does not have that sort of fighting words down to it, that can be very, very helpful. A third thing that people can do that can make a very big difference is to talk about confidentiality issues about discussions about very personal things, so that there could be an understanding before you start talking about who if anyone is going to hear the content of what is about to be said.

    Those three thing, taking turns, talking and listening, so that each person gets to be fully heard using neutral language and not harsh provocative language and having and keeping confidentiality agreements can make a big difference.