Conflicts are a natural part of human coexistence. They often reflect a variety of opinions, needs, and emotions. But how does our perception change when we are involved in a conflict? And what impact does this have on our communication?

In a conflict, we tend to see our point of view as the only correct one. We often feel attacked or misunderstood, which can cloud our perception. Suddenly we are less willing to listen and more intent on defending our arguments. These changes in perception can make communication more difficult and exacerbate the conflict.

Fortunately, however, there are solutions to bring communication back to a constructive level:

Change of perspective: Try to look at the situation from the other person’s point of view and understand what needs and interests might be behind their arguments. This helps to build empathy and clarify misunderstandings.

Active listening: Instead of just waiting to be able to speak your mind, try to actively listen to what the other person has to say. Repeat their arguments in your own words to ensure you understand everything correctly.

Find a solution together: Instead of fighting each other, work with the other person to find a solution that both of you are happy with. Keep communication focussed on the future and avoid discussing what happened in the past. Creativity and openness to compromise are helpful here.

Respectful communication: Always remain respectful and polite, even if you disagree. Avoid blaming or attacking others; focus on constructive criticism and solutions.

By reflecting on our perceptions, actively listening, and communicating respectfully, we can resolve conflicts constructively and achieve a more harmonious working relationship.

Another effective concept for conflict resolution is non-violent communication, according to Marshall B. Rosenberg. This consists of four steps:

1. Observation: Describe what you observe neutrally and objectively without adding judgments or interpretations. Concentrate on concrete facts that are understandable to both parties.

2. Feelings: Share your feelings without blaming the other person. It is essential to be honest about your emotions but avoid attributing them to the other person.

3. Needs: Express the needs behind your feelings. Identify everyday needs and find ways to fulfill them without neglecting the other person’s needs.

4. Make specific, positive requests focused on your needs without making demands or expecting ultimate solutions. Be prepared to compromise and find alternative solutions.

By applying the principles of non-violent communication – observation, feelings, needs, and requests – you can resolve conflicts respectfully and constructively.

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