We have all been watching the news and have seen the video of the United Airlines passenger getting dragged off of an overbooked flight. The outrage and the backlash is mounting as United scrambles to do damage control. This situation is very similar to some relationships between parents and children. This is where conflict resolution can help a struggling relationship get off the tarmac and take flight.
There comes a time in every relationship that there is conflict. That time where we just don’t see eye to eye. The way we chose to respond to this situation will determine if we stay at the terminal or we take flight. Conflict resolution is a step you can take to prepare for the take off.
Stop and think; is the first thing we should do in the conflict solution. This gives us time to gather our thoughts and control our emotions. Remember that you can only control yourself and nobody else. Have you ever wondered why paramedics never run to the scene of an accident? it is because they need to be calm and composed in order to make the right decisions. If there adrenaline is pumping they could hurt themselves or make a mistake in judgment.
Get space; It is important that you do not rush in and make the situation worse. Truth be told, the other person may need space as well and may appreciate the space. This can help in the resolution of the conflict with little effort.
Get information; make sure you know what the real issue is before you engage in a debate or argument. You know the old saying that you should never assume anything. Plus G.I. Joe always said “knowing is half the battle”. Sorry young folks but you may not get the reference.
Choose, plan, do; Once you are calm and have gathered all the information you can, it is time to go in. At this point you have choose how and what you are going to say and do. Make a plan that you can follow as a way to keep you from being side tracked and led astray. Lastly do it.
Evaluate; take a look at how well you did and be honest with yourself. If you did well you will know it. If you were not successful you will know it faster. After this step you may be done with the conflict and you can move on or you have to reenter the cycle and try again.
If this had been the way the security for United Airlines had acted, they may not have lost a billion dollars of company value overnight. More importantly they would have treated all passengers with respect and dignity. Conflict is a daily part of our lives and we have to take the steps control how it will effect our lives. Lastly keep in mind that the steps I have laid out for you should take seconds or minutes. It is a process that if practiced can help you master your life and keep your sky friendly.