Dealing with Conflict Using Effective Influencing Skills

Posted by: Jo Banks

Date: 23-04-2015

We can't change others, but we can change ourselves.  Easy strategies for dealing with conflict...



A common problem my clients require help with, is conflict.  Not a week goes by when I don't deal with it in some form or another.  The most common cause is usually work related, either with a boss or work colleague and can often result in clients feeling so helpless and out of control that they feel that their only option is to leave.  They often tell me how desperate they feel because the other person just doesn't see their point of view or they are feeling bullied and they don't think the other person will ever change.  Here's the thing ... we can't change others, but we can change ourselves and once we do that, the other person HAS to adjust their behaviour in response.

"Always do what you've always done, always get what you've always got" (Henry Ford), so you need to change something in you to affect a change in someone or something else.  Just doing the same thing over and over and expecting to get a different result is madness!

When I explain this, the reply I usually get is, "I'm not giving in to them!  Why should I let them win?" my reply, "You aren't giving in, you're gaining control, because you know what you're doing ... they don't ... it's called influencing!"

So how do we change our thoughts about another person?

  1. Picture them differently - this is a really easy thing to do.  If you're in conflict with someone, change something about them in your mind's eye.  Give them a Ronald MacDonald wig or a Mickey Mouse voice, long accentuated/cartoon eyelashes, anything that would make them less threatening. If you visualise them with this new trait/appendage/behaviour over and over, when you come to see them for real, I guarantee that you'll feel differently about them!   
  2. Establish the secondary gain for their behaviour - secondary gain is someone's real reason for doing something and takes place in our subconscious, therefore we aren't always aware of it consciously.  Secondary gain could be jealousy, insecurity, low self esteem etc which manifests in negative behaviour towards you/others.  Once you recognise what another's secondary gain for their behaviour is, quite often you will change your behaviour toward them anyway because you will realise that it isn't a problem they have with you, but a problem they have with themselves.  You may even want to think about what your secondary gain is for your behaviour toward them...

Changing how you view someone either visually in your mind's eye or through gaining an understanding why they behave as they do, really helps you to change how you see and think about them.  Once you've done that, then you can't help but act differently towards them, which, in return will make them behave differently towards you!

Both of these techniques (like all the techniques I share) are unbelievably easy to use, but incredibly powerful.  So the next time you find yourself in conflict with someone (these strategies work equally well for conflict in private relationships too), change something visually about them or look for their (or your) secondary gain - it's much easier than changing your job/family/friends! 


Alternatively, if it's something you require some external help with, contact us for a free, no obligation consultation about how we can help you.

JO's FIRST BOOK: Thoughts Become Things

Visit the website for Jo Banks' first book, Thoughts Become Things now available in paperback and Kindle formats.