The First Step to Resolve Conflict

 In Effective Dialogue

(Time to read: 2-3 minutes)

I know I’m in conflict when I’m experiencing negative emotions – such as anger, frustration or impatience.

And those emotions produce enormous pressure to DO SOMETHING NOW!

That would be really useful if I needed to run or hit something. But those responses are generally not helpful in the conflicts I encounter at work and at home.

What Happens if I “Do Something Now”

I consistently find that if I speak or do anything from this powerful negative energy, I make the situation worse and end up creating more work for myself.

Maybe not immediately – maybe others seem to do what I want in the moment. But I find that resentment and resistance gets stimulated, that can undermine the relationship and make it more difficult to get cooperation from others in future.

Does that match your experience? Either as a person who sometimes speaks or acts from this “negative” energy, or as the person on the receiving end?

Therefore…The First Step

I’ve found that my most useful first step is to shift my emotions – from “negative” to peaceful and hopeful and connected to what I DO want, rather than what I DON’T want.

This energetic shift makes whatever I say more appealing to the other people in the situation, so they are more willing to collaborate with me to find solutions that work for us all.

Which ends up saving me so much time and additional emotional turmoil.


I’ve found there are two stages in learning how to authentically and consistently make this kind of shift:

  1. At first, we generally need the support of another person who offers us a compassionate, non-judgmental space in which to “vent with intention” – express our negative thoughts and feelings for the purpose of getting clear about what is important to us: what important values we are wanting to realize in the situation.
  2. Based on repeated experiences like this, over time we learn how to offer this to ourselves in more and more challenging situations. So that we become triggered less, and are able more often to respond compassionately to others who are expressing negative thoughts and feelings toward us.

How to Find the Time

People sometimes look at all the challenging situations in their lives and say “There’s too much! I don’t have time to deal with it all in the way you suggest!”

In my experience, you don’t have to try and deal with all at once – in fact that is often counter-productive.

The key is to start with a single situation, and do what you can. If that’s one situation a month, or once a quarter – great!

The delightful thing is that the benefits accumulate over time.

Each situation in which you don’t react with “negative” energy becomes one in which you don’t receive the negative rebound effects of that energy – which makes it much more likely that you will find a mutually satisfying solution – so the situation gets resolved and stays resolved.

This Is What I Do

I have spent decades learning to hold a compassionate, non-judgmental space for people to “vent with intention” and create this powerful “negative-to-positive” emotional shift.

And then how to communicate effectively so that conflicts get resolved and stay resolved.

I would love to use these skills to help you enjoy life more fully – at work and in your personal life.
I offer three different formats to suit your personal style:

  1. Group Workshop:  Sat-Sun April 13-14
    For more information   *   To Register   *   Same-cost private workshop in 1 day
    “I love these opportunities to spend an extended time in Glenda’s presence.” “I learn so much just from watching how she deals with all the different situations that arise.” LP & MS, Toronto
  2. Private coaching scheduled at your convenience – by phone or Skype, or in person at my office in Toronto’s east end. I recommend a two-hour session to start, after that you can book sessions from 15 minutes to 2+ hours – your choice. Click here to see the booking options
  3. “For Two” Sessions – If you and a friend or your partner would like support to learn how to communicate to resolve and avoid conflict, this option is for you.
    Click here to see my calendar and book a session
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