You may think you can multitask and listen exquisitely. You can’t. The two are incompatible, and when conflict arises, the lack of attention and listening, coupled with high emotion, can easily derail any attempts at resolution.
We advocate not just listening in conflict situations, and not even just listening well. We advocate Mindful Listening as the most effective skill for conflict resolution. Mindful listening requires being highly attuned to both our own emotions and the emotions of others. When we listen mindfully we observe our own emotional state with curiosity. We keep self-talk and judgment at bay. In communicating with others, we listen with as clear a head as possible. We pay exquisite attention in order to really hear what is going on with the other person-in words, tone, emotions and body language.
Try these steps the next time you are faced with communicating with someone you don’t see eye to eye with:
Judith Sugg, Ph.D. is the co-director of AIM for Organizational Health in Portland, Oregon, where she combines her skills in psychology, mindfulness practices and business as a facilitator and coach. She is the author of Six-Word Lessons for Fearless Presenting and Six-Word Lessons for Transforming Conflict with Mindfulness.
Alisa Blum, MSW, Principal Consultant at Alisa Blum & Associates, specializes in enhancing management and employee performance. She is the co-director of AIM for Organizational Health. She is the author of Six-Word Lessons for Transforming Conflict with Mindfulness.
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