I know firsthand how beautiful and rewarding relationships can be, but also how challenging they can become at times.
Conflict in relationships can put a wedge between us, hindering the time we spend together. Generational gaps, different life stages, and distinct personalities are very real parts of us that influence how we see the world. It can be tough!
To help us with this topic of conflict, we have Professor Starla Anderson joining us from Azusa Pacific University in Southern California. Professor Anderson is passionate and dedicated to teaching effective conflict management. Something I think we all need! Both a professor of communications and an attorney, with experience in both civil and criminal litigation, Professor Anderson is a wealth of knowledge and resources.
Check out this clip below as she shares about one of her favorite theories in conflict: “the flashing yellow light”. I love how she explains that we need to make charitable judgements (instead of automatically assuming something negative!) in our mind when we have a misunderstanding. I thought this was great! So often we assume the worst in someone, but we don’t realize what’s going on in their life and what they might really be going through.
If we think first, and ask good questions, we can fill in those missing pieces of information to gain understanding and perhaps avoid the conflict all together. Just simply being ready to listen is a great place to start!
Professor Anderson also highlights the importance of being calm. In this next clip, she challenges us to find that “one thing”, our go-to activity that gets us to a calm place before we tackle that challenging situation. If you guessed mine is surfing, you’re right! There is no place like the ocean to help restore and refresh me!
This week, I’ve been challenged to really think about my own communication with those that I love. Professor Anderson gave us some great tools for our tool box! I’m excited to start putting them to use to become a better listener as a mom, wife and friend.
Cheering you on to overcome your conflict,