This week’s conflict resolution tip is about getting out of autopilot when in conflict.
When we get into conflict, we usually feel our needs are threatened in some way. In reaction to this perceived threat, our sympathetic nervous system activates, and we go into fight or flight mode. This makes us defensive and offensive towards the person we are having the conflict with.
Instead of reacting in this way, we need to come up with strategies to get out of autopilot. Getting out of autopilot means making a more deliberate choice about our communication strategy. If we can think about different ways to communicate (or even better, receive training on communication skills), we will better be able to move out of an automatic reaction and make a conscious choice about the best strategy to resolve a particular issue.
How do we do this in the heat of conflict? Find ways to activate the parasympathetic nervous system. Focusing on our breath is one way to do this. Another technique is slowing down our words and focusing on annunciating each word clearly. If we can consciously move ourselves from a place of reaction to response, we will certainly be able to bring more peace into our lives.