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Counseling Services – Feb. 2012

February 1, 2012

Keys to Effective Conflict Resolution
We all face conflict at some point in our lives. Conflict resolution is an important skill to teach our teenagers so they can turn a negative outcome into a positive one. As parents, modeling this behavior will help improve the relationship you have with your teen, creating a more peaceful existence. Here are some tips for effective conflict resolution:

  1. Create a Win-Win: Attempt to create a win-win situation instead of proving you are right and they are wrong.
  2. Show Respect: …for self and others. Show respect by stating your thoughts and feelings without name calling, making shots, using sarcasm, attacking, blaming, belittling, or reacting.
  3. Actively Listen: Without interrupting or preparing your come-back, try to hear what the other person has to say, and reflect back to them what you heard.
  4. Take Responsibility: Take responsibility for your feelings and behaviors. Listen to what truth there may be in what the person is saying to you about your behaviors.
  5. Deal with Present Concerns: Leave the past in the past. Deal with the present concern – once something has been dealt with, move on. If you hold someone to their past mistakes you allow them to hold you to yours.
  6. Allow for Grey: Instead of using black and white statements (“always” and “never”), allow for grey. Our perspectives are our own and sometimes we aren’t seeing the whole picture. “There are usually two sides to every story, and the truth is usually somewhere in the middle”.
  7. Ask, When You don’t Know: Ask questions to get “real” answers instead of your made up assumptions.
  8. Self-Soothe: (Count to 10, take a deep breath, picture your happy place, etc.) Respond, do not react to the situation. Remain calm and try not to take on the other person’s responsibility in the situation (you can only deal with your side of the argument). Our reactions are usually the first thing that comes up for us and are tied into our automatic emotional responses. Responding requires, non-emotionally, choosing what you will say and do.
  9. Stay Engaged: Stay engaged in the conversation even if it’s uncomfortable and you want to leave. Time outs are okay, but always have a plan to finish your discussion. & “The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook”, Bourne, 2005
Revised and submitted by: Cindy Lerner, Family School Liaison Counsellor (403) 863-2346


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