One of the underlying benefits of conflict is that things come into the open and each party can grow based on the new information. Conversations may finally air thoughts and feelings that have been festering beneath the surface for years.
The Johari window is a tool that illustrates that everyone has blind spots (see Chapter 6 for more on the Johari window). Conflict can cut through a history of collusion and hidden information. Yet messages need to be conveyed with respect and appreciation of differences so that people can hear them.
The following sections explore techniques for getting out difficult information in useful, non-incendiary ways.
To shift through conflict, your clients need to be able to communicate without fighting or running away. In order to do so, they must be persistent and stay calm when others may not be.
Practising a simple structure such as the following four-step model in a coaching session gives clients an easy tool to replicate in other conflict situations. Use this activity to rehearse a difficult conversation where your client needs to give challenging feedback.
The following four steps are based on Marshall Rosenberg's model of non-violent communication.