Remember the last time you anticipated having a difficult conversation with someone? You probably dreaded it. It felt stressful. Well, is there a way to minimize that feeling of dread and stress when you have to have a conversation like this, or when you find yourself in conflict , needing to speak with someone?
Well, I'm Marlene, and that's a question I'd like to take up with you today in this tutorial. I'd like to talk with you about how to increase your sense of security and your confidence when you find yourselves in a conflict situation with someone.
Now, confidence, of course, is a belief that one can engage in a given situation successfully by meeting needs or preventing loss and harm. So, we all want to have that sense of confidence, that security that we're OK.
Now, security is a feeling that one is not exposed to threat. Because we know what happens when we feel like we're being exposed to a threat, whether it's real or perceived. We have these natural physiological reactions that occur in our body, caused by the release of adrenaline. So, our heart begins to beat faster. We have shallow breathing. We may become distraught, irrational. We feel afraid. All of these things happen automatically.
So, are there some techniques to increase security and confidence when we're feeling this way or even before we're feeling this way. Yes, there are, and it starts actually with courage. Yeah. Muster your courage.
Courage is a willingness to engage with a threat. So, no matter what the threat is, perceived or real, if we're feeling that it's a threat, we need to have a willingness to engage with it. It could be a fear of public speaking, perhaps a fear of skiing, of new technology. Whatever it is we're afraid of, we need to face that, and for example, if it's a fear of public speaking, perhaps joining Toastmasters, where we have to get up every week or every couple of weeks, and actually give a speech, would be helpful.
So that's the first step, is this willingness to engage with a threat. Then there are some other techniques that we can use before we enter into perhaps a difficult conversation with someone we're in conflict. We want to prepare rationally for what we are entering into, which means we need to focus on the facts. It's very hard to do this when we have adrenaline rushing through our system, and we're having these physical reactions. It's hard to think rationally. So, of course, take a break, breathe. Get yourself calm down through using your breath, so that you can step back, and think rationally, and realistically about what is there to gain here, and what could I realistically lose. So, I'm not exaggerating perhaps my losses.
I'm not getting defensive about I think the other person is going to do. Let me sit down and look at the situation rationally. It can help to do that with someone. You know, to talk out the situation. To think about what can I realistically expect here. It's also helpful to focus on past successes. If you at some point in your life it have had a difficult conversation with someone, remember that. It will help you visualize success in the conversation that you have coming up.
Now, in a conflict resolution process, the mediator, or the conflict resolver's goal is to help the parties increase their sense of security and confidence, simply by being part of the process. The process is transparent, which means it's open. Everybody knows what's going on. Everything is said in the presence of others with the mediator there. And people lay out their expectations, what it is they are expecting, what their goals are, what their needs are.
Each person is empowered to speak for themselves, to speak, and to listen. So, the process itself is a process that allows people to speak to one another perhaps vent feelings, come back, and look at expectations, and needs, and set goals realistically. So, yes the answer is yes. It's possible to increase security and confidence when you're moving into a conflict, but to do this, we need to recognize that adrenaline can get in the way, and we take steps to calm ourselves down, our physiological reactions, so we can step back, prepare for situations, think about it realistically before stepping into it. So, I've enjoyed being part of this tutorial, and I look forward to next time.
A belief that one can engage in a given situation successfully (e.g. by meeting needs or preventing loss/harm).
A willingness to engage with a threat.
A feeling that one is not exposed to threat.