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Conflict & Emotions

It is difficult to be objective and effective when emotions are running high. Taking the time to correctly label and reflect on an emotion can help decrease its intensity. When the emotional level of the conflict has been reduced, reasoning abilities can function more effectively. This allows you to respond versus react.

When you react you are working from a place of emotion and when you respond you are working from a place of reflection.

Reacting typically involves emotionally charged aggressive approaches with little thought on a positive impact/outcome. This usually leads to a back and forth exchange of threatening and negative emotional interactions.

Responding typically involves taking a step back to reflect on your emotions, the conflict and respond in a more rational and non-threatening way. This usually leads to discussion which allows for mutual understanding and exploration of possible solutions.

In order to increase your chances of responding to incidents in a rational and thoughtful way and limit emotionally charge reactions it may be helpful to keep the following cycle in mind.

When looking at the Think-Feel-Do cycle, THINK is where we need to pay attention. We commonly think things happen to us and do not see our influence over an event. We need to be conscious of our voices and ask such questions as, is it reasonable to believe? Do I have bias? It is not about turning the negative into the positive. It is ensuring you are having reasonable and rational thoughts. If we are having more reasonable thoughts then we will have better outcomes.