Unfortunately, conflict is a natural part of life. None of us are perfect and we have to learn to navigate through our differences.
While so many of us dread conflict, it doesn’t have to be so bad! We can use conflict to strengthen and deepen our relationships if we respond well.
I invited Christine Cashen to join my ‘Ohana Mentorship Program to give us tips on how to do this. Author of a two-time award-winning book and inducted into the CPAE Speaker Hall of Fame, Christine is hilarious, energetic and full of unique, practical tips for handling conflict.
Christine talked in depth about the impact that our word choice can have. For example, saying “you might be right” when someone is arguing with you prevents the conflict from escalating. Arguments aren’t a volleyball match – you don’t have to hit it back!
Talking in ‘green language’ instead of ‘red language’ is another way to do this. If your mom tells you that “you have yet to feed the dog,” you will probably be much less defensive than if your mom states that “you never feed the dog”. Saying “yet” turns the statement into a gentle reminder instead of a harsh criticism.
Often times, while we are busy noticing the flaws in others, we have so many in ourselves that we just aren’t seeing.
Christine called this scenario “wearing our gotcha goggles” because we’re always out to get the other person. This causes so much conflict!
“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”
Christine reminded us to put on our “grateful goggles” instead and ask ourselves what we appreciate about others.
She had a really fun strategy to do this called the 10 Coin Challenge. All the coins start in one pocket at the beginning of the day and every time you give someone a compliment or affirmation, you can move the coin over to the other pocket. The goal is to have total coin transfer from one pocket to the other by the end of the day .
Here’s a clip of Christine breaking this down in more detail:
Daughters what have you done for your mothers recently? Your moms do so much for you. How can you take something off of her plate?
The mother-daughter bond, as well as the bonds with the rest of our family members are lifetime bonds. When we leave these relationships full of conflict, we miss out on all their beauty.
I am cheering you on today to identify the conflict in your relationships and respond in gracious, loving ways!