After our last post, the revelation that good conflict resolution begins with time, many might read this and say: “That is not possible! Conflict just happens and you can’t waste time planning how best to resolve it.” Well, take the last conflict you had in your life. How long did it take you to fully resolve it? Now imagine if you had taken time out to reflect on the issue, plan what you wanted to say for the best outcome, rehearsed your response and peacefully implemented what you wanted to say. Imagine how much time that would have saved you. The reality is that non-violent communication always saves time.

Now, conflict is often caused by hitting what are known as people’s hot-buttons. The Merriam-Webster online dictionary has an excellent definition of a hot-button: “An issue that causes people to feel strong emotions (such as anger) and to argue with each other.” Now we all have hot-buttons; things that really get us going. The question is, how do we manage these issues so they don’t lead to conflict? We need to acknowledge that our hot-buttons are OUR problem. Often we blame the other person for pushing our buttons when really they are our buttons to manage. Remember, we cannot change people, we can only change ourselves.

Reflect on your hot-buttons. They might be big or small issues that need attention. Why do these issues get under your skin? What can you do to change your reaction to them? By becoming aware of what triggers conflict in ourselves and in others, we can manage situations in a peaceful and more productive manner.

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