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May 30, 2008


When attempting to get an idea across (especially when change is the desired outcome) you are likely to meet many obstacles:

  • different agendas
  • differing personal values
  • prejudice
  • fear (of change)
  • unresolved anger and other emotions not related to the issue

-it would seem easier to give up than to continue!

  • How can you stop the responses from feeling like personal attacks? 
  • How can 2 sides come to an agreement when each value different things, or if each are pursuing different goals? 



I've 'adapted' the following article a little  apologies to Cait Johnson
Cheers, Jenny 

Conflict Resolution: Six Simple Steps by Cait Johnson, author of Earth, Water, Fire, and Air (SkyLight Paths, 2003)


1. Detach.
If you weren’t personally involved with this conflict, how differently would you feel?

  • Do what you can to self-soothe, be objective, calm yourself, and not take it personally.
  • It can help to approach the conflict as if you were an objective outside witness, simply observing.

2. Be Curious.
Adopt the spirit of inquiry, ask yourself questions... 

  • What is the other person feeling?
  • What lesson might be hidden here?
  • Where are my healthy boundaries around this issue?
  • (note from Jenny) What agendas might be hidden here?

3. Fair Hearing.
Let the other person express him or herself without your evaluating, judging, or condemning either them or what they have to say.

  • As uncomfortable feelings come up, breathe through them.
  • Witness to yourself how you are feeling without acting on those feelings:
    • there is nothing wrong with anger, for instance–anger is a healthy sign that something needs to change.
    • but some of the things people do with anger, like saying mean or hurtful things, can be damaging.

4. Echo.
Repeat back what you heard.

  • You will be amazed at how we often mis-hear things, and what a profoundly healing effect it has on a situation to simply be heard.
  • Also, if your conflict-partner has said hurtful things to you, simply stating what you heard can be really eye-opening: often, people simply don’t realize the effect their words have on others.

5. Express.
Rather than attacking with “You” statements, use “I” statements to say how you feel.

  • No one can argue with your feelings: they’re yours.
  • Take responsibility for your feelings, but stay as clean as possible, not allowing them to make you behave in less-than-kind ways.
  • Make the choice to stay in your truth with both strength and compassion- this is tremendously empowering. 

6. Find the Win-Win.
Perceive the other person as your partner in conflict resolution rather than as an enemy.

  • Ask questions like:
    • “What can we do to make this feel better?
    • "What would be a good solution for both of us?”
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Posted: May 30, 2008 11:13pm


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Jenny Dooley
, 3, 2 children
Eastlakes, SW, Australia
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