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Conflict, a disagreement or an argument with someone. Have you ever had conflict in your life? Of course, you have! The question is, how does one deal with that conflict? 

I’m sure that at one point or another, you have been in an argument with someone such as your spouse or partner, your boss, your family members, or someone in authority. Depending on your personality, it can be a very powerful, controlling experience, or it could make you feel like a little fish in a big pond. Leaving you with anxiety, the feeling like you were wrong about something, defensive, undervalued and insecure, sometimes with low self esteem.

Either way, it can have a negative or positive affect on your mental state. Imagine having this happen when you are younger. The repercussions can be very negative, given the fact that the phrase, monkey see, monkey do, comes into play. This means that we learn from what we see, and what we are told by our mentors and elders. We as humans, are always learning, and our present or future outward behaviour is a result of years of learnt inner behaviours.

When we are older, we are more set in our ways. We take what we have learned as children and apply it to our everyday situations whether its right or wrong, because it’s what we believe to be the right way, as we were taught. At times, this can cause some or a lot of conflict for everyone around us or it can really uplift our peers and become inspiring. It’s your choice how you react in a conflict. Remember, that a conflict is a disagreement with someone over an issue. An issue can be solved with a solution. So, why then when we have an issue, do we not come up with a solution as well? With this way of thinking, how many conflicts can or could have been solved in your everyday life.

Being a truck trainer, one such example comes to mind. When students are learning to shift a truck for the first time, they will get some shifts, and miss others. The ones they achieve come with great satisfaction and reward, through confidence. The ones they don’t achieve come with anger, failure, anxiety, and frustration. In most cases, the conflict is coming from within ones own mind. Being hard on yourself can cause great conflict. But it doesn’t have too. It’s all about perspective and the reaction.

When a student misses a gear shift they typically will ask themselves, “what did I do wrong or why did that happen”? By the time these questions gets answered in their head, it’s too late to fix it, because of the shifting time issue. This causes them to get flustered, and stop to regain their composure.

In changing perspective, what if instead of those questions, they asked themselves, “how do I fix it”? They automatically go into solution mode, rather than reactive mode. This completely changes a persons demeanour. Now instead of focusing on the problem, they focus on the solution. Given the time factor in shifting, they can recover the gear much faster. This is a small thing that makes a huge difference to a student in the learning process.

This is just one example of how to deal with conflict with solutions. I’m sure you can come up with many more times in life, where you could have asked a different question to get a better result. There are many ways to talk to someone especially when you are having a disagreement whether it’s with yourself, or externally.

Here are 5 ways to have conflict resolution in your life.

  1. Define the source of the conflict – Figure out where the issue is coming from. The more information you have about the issue, the better decisions you can make to have a solution.
  2. Look beyond the conflict – What is really happening here. Is it about a small issue that may have happened months ago and just escalated into something bigger?
  3. Look for solutions – We are smart as humans. Sometimes if the two that are arguing stop for a second and focus on solutions rather than problems, they can make great strides in finding one.
  4. Identify solutions both can support – Identify all the good points of a solution that will benefit both parties and the bigger picture.
  5. An agreement – Make an agreement that both parties can agree on and will carry out for the future, so that the issue will not cause problems later on.

I hope that implementing these 5 conflict resolution strategies will help you in your everyday life when an issue arises.

Our blog sponsor today is Truck Focus Podcast. Connecting industry leaders, to the industry, to help create Pivotal Change. Visit themindfultrucker.com, and click on the Truck Focus Podcast link for the latest episode. Truck Focus Podcast is brought to you by Pivotal Transportation Industry Solutions.

Dana G. Smith, CC

Dana G Smith CC is a Certified Relationship Coach/Consultant and co-creator of The Mindful Trucker Institute, helping companies and professional drivers with better Health, Safety, and Wellness.