Conflict Thesaurus

Conflict Thesaurus


Hearing information instead of attack

An example of a thought expressed with and without attack.

    “You’re such a control freak. It’s impossible to collaborate with you.”
    “I would like more input in this collaboration. How could we make that work?”

what changed:

The ATTACK version contains an evaluation of the other person’s character and an assumption that productive dialogue is impossible. No clear information is offered about what is needed or wanted. No clear question or request is stated.

The NO ATTACK version contains a clear informational statement about what is needed or wanted, and a question oriented toward a solution that would work for both people. No blame and no personal attack are offered.


PRACTICE: Hearing information instead of attack.

ASK: “If I wasn’t hearing attack, what would I be hearing?”

SEE: Principle 1 in Changing the Conversation: The 17 Principles of Conflict Resolution


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