Thursday, 13 November 2014
In the course of pursuing our daily activities, we must offend people and people must offend us; no matter how sweet you seem, there must be one thing that annoys you albeit little.
While it is okay for tempers to rise, after all I am a firm believer in getting stuffs bugging you off your chest before midnight, everyone of us needs conflict management skills.
Naturally, I am fiery tempered, when I say fiery tempered, I mean fiery tempered(like Angela in "For better for worse") but since I moved to northern Nigeria, I have become so cool that my best friend always wonders how I've been managing to keep it cool because she knows what I can do and undo and how I don't suffer fools gladly.
Imagine me living with someone who has OCD( I used to think I was neat until she came along), this OCD ish is so annoying to the point that when I'm doing my laundry, she will have the guts to tell me I'm not washing well, imagine someone telling you you cannot put on the fan that she has light chest *whatever it means*, or banging the door loudly when you are asleep and so many other scenario. Now she not only suffers from OCD, she nags! Imagine the combo!!
Initially when she moved in with me, I used to flare up and we would keep malice and if I'm angry, it is like I get this burning sensation in my chest, so I asked myself how long I was going to continue that way, I then told myself I was going to ignore her but not without leaving a stern warning that the day I'll lose my temper it would not be funny. Now when she starts her foolishness, I just plug in my earphones and listen to my Osadebe *bats eyelashes* else it is everyday we'll be exchanging words and I'll probably be labelled cantankerous.
Since we can't all agree with people all the time, we all need to learn conflict management skills but before we learn how to manage conflicts with others, we should learn how to manage the internal conflicts within us.
Conflicts resolution skills can avoid rifts, resentment and bitterness while enhancing understanding of one another, builds trust and strengthens relationship bonds.
TIPS FOR CONFLICT MANAGEMENT.
1. Understand unspoken words
Understand and properly read the mood, gesture, pace, tome, facial expression etc of the other party. Sometimes when someone is frowning, it is better to back off instead of starting small talks.
Humor can help you to say things that might be difficult to say without offending someone, but if you are using the humor tool, laugh with people. And not at people.
Not just listening, be quick to listen and slow to speak.
4. Make conflict resolution the priority rather than being right.
Whether you are right or wrong, aim to settle for the bone of contention amicably while being respectful of the other person and his/her viewpoint.
5. Focus on the present.
Yes, the offender might have done 1001 things in the past but why not let sleeping dogs lie? Focus on now and how to solve the problem.
6. Pick your battles.
Why fight over mundane things? Why drain yourself with issues that are not worth it?
7. Be willing to forgive.
Remember you can't resolve a conflict if you are. Not willing to forgive. Remember we offend God and he forgives us, so why not behave like your father in heaven?
8. Know when to let go.
It takes two to tango, if a conflict is going nowhere, you can choose to let go and move on.
Remember, conflict management is needed in all our relationships.