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Responding to Conflict: Enhancing Our Usual Behaviors

Conflict often leads to negative emotions which can contribute to stress, and make it more difficult to constructively respond to a conflict. Developing your conflict engagement skills can help you navigate the trajectory of conflict towards resolution.

Once you’ve completed the third course on modeling stress management , create a daily practice to enhance your usual behaviors—behaviors that will help you to approach a stressful situation more calmly and, importantly, help de-escalate a potential conflict.

Practice these suggestions to enhance your usual behaviors three to six times a day:

  1. Pause
    Pause before entering a situation. Inhale and exhale to arrive mindfully and focused. Use the STOP technique
  2. Keep Eye Contact
    Use the 3 second rule. Maintaining eye contact for a minimum of 3 seconds lets the other person know that you recognize them and want to engage with them. 
  3. Use Vocal Best Practices
    Remember that it’s not what you say but how you say it. Think about the pace, inflection, tone, and volume. Even silence speaks volumes. These can make a big difference in the reaction you receive.
  4. Use Day-to-Day Reinforcement
    When you see appropriate or positive conflict resolution skills, recognize it and support it. The more you comment positively on behaviors, the more frequently you are likely to see those behaviors again. 
  5. Offer to Help
    Ask repeatedly and consistently in a calm and supportive voice if you can be of assistance.

As you work through all of the exercises we’ve presented over the course of these classes, we hope you are successful in building a mindfulness practice and navigating the new normal with reduced stress. If you have questions or would like additional support, please contact us.