What is your part in this is an extremely powerful question when engaged in conflict. My husband and I definitely have our miscommunications, our idiosyncrasies can cause arguments in a second. If we get ELEVATED at each other then we are at a NO WIN situation. We have tried several strategies on how to keep ourselves from getting elevated, how to take ownership in the argument, and what to do. Yet, one person always seems to be a bit more stubborn than the other which doesn’t lead to easy resolutions.
This was our norm UNTIL he worked for someone who did leadership training. They would work with big companies coaching all the employees how to communicate effectively. Many of the tools we, as a couple, would try to implement semi-successfully.
THERE IS ONE THAT HAS BEEN EXTREMELY EFFECTIVE AND I EVEN USED IT ON MY CHILDREN RECENTLY!
It is called, “WHAT IS YOUR PART IN THIS?”
When we started I HATED this because it would force me to admit what I did that contributed to the argument. Who can relate to that? Most of the time it takes two, right? Well, It FORCED me to REFLECT on my actions, behaviors, and choices and find the fault that contributed to the argument. It SUCKED For a while!! After practicing it more and more it got easier and is almost MAGICAL in helping resolve arguments much quicker.
I was always one to be passive aggressive, give the silent treatment for awhile, not talk. Using this tool has helped me come to terms quicker with my part where now I can actually bring it up first.
YES, you heard me..sometimes I BRING it up FIRST!
I used to wait until he would initiate the conversation and admit what he did wrong when in reality, I played a part too! This has been a HUGE step for me! Once I share MY PART and he shares HIS PART we can easily come to some sort of resolution and move on.
WHAT OTHER SITUATIONS WOULD THIS WORK WITH?
Well, I used it on my kids the other day! They were going at each other, talking meanly. The 8 year old boy was crying, the 11 year old girl was mad. I asked them to take a few minute break and then said, “I want you both to explain what your part was in this argument?” They both said, “What does that mean?” I explained, “When daddy and I have an argument we now talk about what our part is. What did we do to add to or contribute to the argument and we share it.” This is the modeling piece. Showing our children how we resolve arguments positively will teach them good strategies. Believe me!! I don’t want my kids to be passive aggressive. So I had to make a change and start modeling a better way!
So off they went, they both shared their part and what they did. Then I said, “What is next?” My daughter said, “To share our feelings.” So they both did that and asked for apologies. Once they all apologized it was over. Just like that!
Now it is your turn! When you come across a conflict with someone suggest to everyone involved to reflect and share their part in it and then let it organically move on from there. You will be surprised on how well it works and diffusses a lot of anger and resentment.
Comment and share how it works for you! I LOVE hearing how this brought value to you and what other ideas and thoughts you have on this topic!
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