When we Take the Initiative to resolve a conflict:
• We get our own needs met
• We hold the other party accountable by bringing the conversation to them
• We release the burden of holding grudges, stress, or pent-up emotions
• We are role modeling effective conflict resolution
• We are managing our relationship with the other person
When we don’t take the initiative, the opposite is true as well. Our needs don’t get met, there is no accountability with either party, anger and frustration fester, we role model ineffective conflict resolution and we’ve enabled a dysfunctional relationship. Not good.
The key is to know what you want (Rule 1), let go of judgments and assumptions that can get in the way (Rule 2), choose an approach that will get you to resolution (Rule 3) and initiate conversation (Rule 4) so you get what you need. And guess what? You’ll improve the relationship with the other party in the process.