Do you come across people who seem to think becoming more skilful at relationships will somehow undermine their power, or what they think is their power?
Now, we always have conflict, at least in the sense of conflict of needs and wants. As soon as you have two people, you have conflict. (Actually, one’s usually enough, but that’s another story.)
But here’s what I find…
A little more skill in handling relationships makes it easier not harder to get the outcome we want in a conflict, precisely because we can communicate our interests in a firm but fair way, and trade them with the other party if we have to.
A little more skill can avoid giving the other party reason to “lose it” with us and so, in fact, escape the pressure we wish them to feel.
A little more skill can make the other feel extremely uncomfortable if that’s the effect we decide we want.
Relationship skills can help us be both harder and softer.
Attention to the relationship beforehand provides credit in the bank for when we need to tackle a problem.
Sometimes we need to communicate that something is unacceptable, and maybe strongly.
One of the fundamental principles of NLP is that we do best if we take responsibility for the effect of our communication. That’s usually discussed in the context of a reaction to something we say.
But here’s the thing…
It applies at least as much to the effect of our lack of communication. If something’s unacceptable to us, that’s what we’ll need to communicate. And until we see a change, we’re still communicating the response is acceptable. We may need to harden our message.
How do you do firm but fair?