Truth be told, disagreements or arguments aren’t really always about right n wrong. From issues on race relations, to co-workers, customer service situations and especially in our personal relationships, the real goal isn’t necessarily a win but more of more about being heard and understood.
Ironically, in the most passionate or heated times of conversational exchange anything and everything happens but hearing and definitely not understanding. Communication is a rare item and while there is are numerous ways and platforms for people to speak, communication is not common. Let’s be clear to have or engage in communication means that one person hears, understands and then responds to another person who in turn, hears and understands. In most cases, people listen long enough to respond to what the person is saying and in the exchanges of responds, people often forget or lose focus on the goal of the conversation. It has become more about saying the most sarcastic phrase or “putting one in his or her place”, not resolve or mutual understanding.
Reaching an understanding in a conversation is excellent and to make sure you are successful here are a few things to consider:
- Stay on topic – for couples this can be hard because once in a discussion, disagreement or argument, it is easy to take turns or detours onto topics from the past. Keep the conversation simple and on the topic at hand
- Ask questions to make sure what you heard is actually what was said. Discussions become arguments when communication doesn’t occur. In an effort, to speak quickly or to convey thoughts quickly one can easily say the wrong thing. Get clarity
- Listen intently to the response of the other person with the motive in mind to understand and not just for the purpose of responding
- Choose words, thoughts, sentences that bring about resolve and understanding
- Attempt to see the point of views spoken by the other party
- Be honest! If you are wrong or when you understand the person with whom you are having the conversation be the bigger person and admit it.
- Resist name calling
- Allow people to speak freely and listen to them without interruption
- Resist the urge to complete the other person’s sentences
- Eliminate the sarcasm
- Be respectful
Arguing requires no skills, only for one to be disagreeable, unteachable and rude. To resolve conflict, to achieve a place of peace is designed for those who are skilled. Use your skills to communicate with others. Engaging in discussion and disagreements can and are learning tools when used appropriately and when we speak with understanding everyone wins even when we don’t agree.
Kimberly Guy Davis