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EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION SKILLS FOR CONFLICT RESOLUTION

                                                                                                                                                      

"Most arguments start because people want to be ‘right’, that is our human nature,” says Monique Harrisberg, voice and communication expert and CEO of The Voice Clinic in South Africa and Australia, “Ask your opponent lots of questions about why they are starting an argument and why they feel so passionately about it, in order to understand where they are coming from. Be prepared to listen to what they have to say. Only from there will you find a mutually agreeable solution.”

Here are some useful tips to try and resolve conflict:

·         Name calling, making judgements, threatening people and pointing fingers, will only inflame the situation, steer clear of these and rather talk frankly and objectively about the issue.

·         Before you say something always check the tone of your voice. Tone accounts for 38% of our communication message. If you say ‘I care’ in a sarcastic tone it will create an entirely different response than if you said it in another tone.

·         If an argument turns sour, nasty, rude and childish that’s when damage starts being done, but you can still walk away from an argument and try again when all parties have cooled off.

Some useful tips to manage stress within a conflict situation:

·         Present the facts of the disagreement without exaggerations.

·         Attack the problem not the person.

·         Listen attentively while the other person is presenting his point of view and do not interrupt the other person. 

·         Do not let the other persons aggressiveness switch you off and don’t reflect any negative feelings

·         Do not make assumptions or take any attacking statements personally

·         Rephrase to check for understanding and clarification purposes

·         Make your point of view know, after listening to the other person’s argument, in an honest, open and assertive fashion

“Always aim to resolve the argument and achieve a win-win situation, this benefits all parties,” says Harrisberg.

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