When two individuals or groups of people are in conflict and lack agreement about something, they continually butt heads. Disagreements often arise because they see the situation from different points of view.
The path to agreement requires that both parties elevate their thinking to a higher level that takes into consideration all concerns, perceptions and frames of reference.
Here are two ways that mentally strong leaders use NLP methods to resourcefully manage conflict:
1. Practice one of three basic positions known as Perceptual Position, a particular perspective or point of view. In NLP there are three main positions you can take in your view of conflict:
(a) The first position involves experiencing the conflict through our own point of view. This allows you to directly associate with the experience and think, “How does this communication or conversation affect me?”
(b) The second position has you walking in the other party’s shoes. Take into account how your communication with the other party would look, sound, and feel like from their point of view. This enables you to experience empathy by stepping into their mental map of their world, gaining an appreciation of how they feel about your conversation and actions as well as deepening rapport with them.
(c) The third position is as an independent observer, an external viewer seeing yourself and the other party disassociated from the conflict or conversation. This position helps you to objectively inquire, “How does this conflict or conversation look to someone who is totally uninvolved?”
Be aware that perceptional positions shift during interaction. You may begin in first position, and as the conversation or conflict develops, find yourself shifting into all three positions. Shifting will trigger new ideas and solutions, asking engaging questions or telling stories that help the other party immediately identify with the purpose that leads to agreement or resolution.
Which default Perceptual Position do you favor the most?
2. See the Conflict Resolved from a Future Perspective: Experiencing a situation in the future is called future pacing in NLP. You mentally rehearse a situation before it happens, envisioning the desired outcome as you want it to be.
a. First, in your mind’s eye, create the setting where you’ll see yourself and the other party. rehearse a situation before it happens, envisioning the desired outcome as you want it to be.
b. Second, imagine the sensations of seeing what you see, hearing what you hear, and feeling what you feel in the context of your situation.
c. Third, see yourself projecting positive body language, communicating with the other party, displaying confidence and a sense of accomplishment.
If the conflict has already escalated, you can still apply future pacing by acknowledging where you are in the conflict, then mentally rehearsing the three steps above. Ask yourself, “What can I say or do that would diffuse the conflict or change its path to arrive at a resolution?’’
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Copyright 2017 Jennifer Touma Mindscape
Neuro-Linguistic Programming, NLP is the art and science of excellence that leads to personal effectiveness and a better understanding of human behavior. It is a set of models, skills and techniques for thinking and acting effectively in the world. It enables people to experience a more balanced and joyful life without self-imposed limitations.
Jennifer is certified as a metamaster practitioner in Neuro-Linguistic Programming.