Part 1: Responding to conflict
What is your initial (primal) response to a conflict situation, fight or flight? Why do you think that is the case?
Consider past experiences with people, your character traits (particularly extraversion and agreeableness), and your culture.
Consider how the response of your parents to conflict situations might have influenced how you see conflict (e.g. if your parents were scared/avoidant of conflict, then chances are you have adopted the same response because your parents served as role models for you when you were growing up).
2. What could help you to get out of your initial response (fight or flight) during a conflict situation?
Consider what will help you to deal with the initial overwhelming emotions so that you can move towards resolving the conflict (elaborate on a specific example of what you could do.)
Think about the things like going to the balcony, naming the game, and using a physical trigger that will help you to “snap out” of the emotional state.
3. What can help you to get into the right emotional state before a conflict situation? (don’t theorise, think about what exactly works for you). How can you ensure that you remember to do this before you step into a conflict situation?
4. Think of a recent occasion when you wanted to let someone else know that you were unhappy or unsatisfied with something but you did not. What did you want to say?
5. How could you have used “I” statements to ensure that you were being heard by the other person while also not blaming that person for the situation (provide examples of the I statements).
6. What have you observed after doing this exercise?How does this exercise inform how you resolve conflict with different people?Are there any patterns?
Note: you don’t have to mention the names of people in this exercise you can just mention the categories (e.g. friend, colleague, partner, parent etc.)
Part 2: Your Conflict Management Style
7. Which conflict management style do you lean towards? What is positive about your conflict management style? What is negative about it?
8. Which conflict management style would you like to work towards? How can that be achieved? (provide specific solutions).
9. What are your biggest limitations in dealing with conflict? What are your biggest strengths? What can you do to improve on your limitations? (For this question use the following 4 links to HBR articles from the ones listed below and refer to them for practical ways in which you could address some of your limitations. )