3 - Initiating Conflict

Address the Behavior, Value the Person

In the first two sections of this course, Jeff revealed that conflict is unavoidable, but healthy, and that we must prepare for conflict by investing in relationships and managing our natural tendencies in the midst of escalating moments. In part three of this course, Jeff shares a wise and warm approach to initiating conflict with another person. 

Jeff encourages a warm, genuine initiation to conflict, with congruence in your tone of voice, facial expression, and choice of words. 

Consider yourself. Are you quick to attack another person? Are you harsh and critical when engaged in conflict? What are the results of this approach?
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Proverbs 15:1 (ESV)

1 A soft answer turns away wrath,

but a harsh word stirs up anger.

Scripture quotations marked (ESV) are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

What Jeff calls the “Warm Startup” approach to initiating conflict aligns with the wisdom of Proverbs 15:1. How could you personally initiate conflict with the nature of a “soft answer?” In what ways can you refine your tone of voice, facial expression, and choice of words when bringing up an issue with another person?
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It is important to address a behavior, not a person. Practice reframing your words so they do not attack someone else. How could you reframe the following accusation so it addresses a behavior, rather than attacks a person? Example: “You always only think about yourself when we make decisions!” 

What are ways you can begin to value a relationship with your words when in the midst of a conflict?
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Conflict goes much more smoothly when we choose to address a behavior, rather than attack a person.