Curiosity: The Best Conflict Resolution Skill

Daily Dose of Integrity

Perhaps the most effective conflict resolution skill is the ability to maintain your curiosity.

Curiosity means you explore the other person – their truth, their needs, their agenda – before trying to assert your own. You assume that you don’t really understand them and that the information they’re trying to get across is buried under their agitation.

It’s very hard for someone to maintain an agitated state – to be aggressive or angry or whatever – if you’re really interested in them and really trying to figure out what they mean.

Most conflict is about an ego-driven misunderstanding. It’s about feeling unheard.

It’s about trying to dominate the other person by force because you don’t really get where they’re coming from and you assume they are hostile and are your enemy.

Sometimes this is the case but it’s actually very rare.

Most of the time, the other person thinks they are in the right, but they struggle to get the point across, they struggle to make it known what they really think and feel.

If you can put aside your urgent need to win for just a moment, and focus on trying to help them figure out what it is they want before you assert what you want, you’re going to go a long way in conflicts.

Think of it like sales. Conflict is just an emotional negotiation. Find out what your customer wants and needs, and then adjust your offer to ensure you both get what you’re looking for.

You’ll often find there’s no need for dishonesty, domination, or game-play. Explore deep enough and you’ll find the win/win outcome together.


For more on this topic, check out my video “Confrontations vs Conflicts: The Difference Matters!”:

2 Responses

  1. A key thing to remember is that you don’t try to find solutions or conclude an argument until everyone is calm

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