Conflict, Part 2: Timing

A husband and wife argue often. His work keeps him on an early schedule; he’s up at 4:30 a.m., and gets home about 3:30. For him to feel rested, he needs to be in bed by 8:30. That’s just a half hour after the kids go to bed, and funnily enough, just about the time his wife wants to talk.

Or, maybe it’s not so funny.

I’ve been teaching conflict resolution since 2004. One of my teaching tools is something I call “The Rules of Engagement”. Nothing to do with the television show. It’s a list of ‘Do’s and Dont’s’ about how to handle conflict. One of the rules is this: when you need to work out a problem with another person, choose the right time and place. Bedtime is not the right time to start having a serious chat. And sitting together in a doctor’s waiting room is no place to talk about a hot-button money issue.

It seems like we should know better, but so many people pick the wrong time and place to talk about something that’s bothering them.

Other people seem to have a knack for timing. This is not magic, and it’s not a special talent in every case; I believe it can be learned. A lot of it has to do with observing people, being able to read their moods and understand their way of thinking. When you can do that, it’s much easier to ask the boss for a raise, give consequences to your child or propose marriage.

So much of success depends on good timing and improving one’s powers of observation … if you don’t think you’ve got it nailed down, why not give me a call at 219-309-3928, for a free consultation? It’d be fun to work on this with you.

Thanks for reading!