The last six weeks I have blogged on each of six steps to implement when you find yourself in a conflict. Men especially, take note: below you will find a sure-fire conflict guide–the whole kit and caboodle–all together in one place.
The six steps represented by the acronym PLEDGE are:
PAUSE to pray and prepare (shift one’s heart from from self to other)
LISTEN to understand their heart (not defend)
ECHO what was said (check to see if you heard correctly)
DISARM…”that makes sense” (give validation)
GIVE your thoughts when invited to (don’t demand to be heard).
ENGAGE the Pledge process again and again (until conflict is resolved).
Each of these steps must take place in a conversation for the conflict to be resolved and both parties grow together when pushed apart. Also, keep in mind that each step in the conflict guide must be implemented in the exact order they are listed.
When you find yourself in the midst of a conflict–you must do the following:
Someone has to hit the pause button! Both parties need this so emotions can dial down and hearts can be prepared to put the other person first, when coming back to the table to talk. It will also give each person time to think about what to say, increasing the chances that it will do more good than harm.
It doesn’t work very well when you are both talking at the same time! One person starts off as the listener to learn, discover, and understand the heart of the other. Listen to learn -not to build up a line of defense! The person who volunteers to listen first, also initiates the next steps.
Echo back what you heard and ask if you heard correctly. If the answer is yes, proceed to the next step. If not, ask what you missed, then echo back once again to see if you heard it correctly the second time. Repeat this process until both you and the other party agree that you heard correctly.
Disarm (not re-arm!) This is a matter of validating what was said. One of the simplest ways to validate another is to simply say something like: “That makes sense.” Or: “I can accept or appreciate your viewpoint.” Keep in mind, if you you cannot say this with sincerity, you have not yet truly seen from the other person’s perspective.
If you were the one who volunteered to listen first, simply now get quiet. You just validated what the other party said. Now wait until the other party gives you the chance to share your perspective. If after a couple of minutes they don’t give you the chance, you can ask if they would be willing to hear your perspective. Only share it if they are now willing to listen. Do not demand that they listen. When he/she does give you the chance to share, the process starts all over again, only this time the roles are reversed.
Engage this cycle over and over until either the conflict is resolved, or you at least both truly understand each other’s perspective. In this way you will be at a better place to make a decision and move forward together.
Question: What questions do you have about the process in this conflict guide that I can answer now or in future posts? You can leave a comment by clicking here.