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Resolving Conflict with my Partner

I first came to the communication dojo because my partner and I were having a conflict. We were looking for some tools to help us work through our conflicts, which we were not doing a good job with. We had both done our own kind of personal work before coming to Dojo, but we had a sense that there was more we needed to learn.

 

A breakthrough for me after coming to a couple of classes was learning about the ladder questions. It helps me build on a tool that I already had, which is when I'm in the middle of the conflict, becoming aware of the fact that I'm in a conflict and taking a break from it.

 

What I hadn't realized was that even though I'm aware enough to take a break, when I come back to the conflict after that, I wouldn't really have any added clarity about it. There's no added benefit to taking the break other than I'm just not as angry as I was before. There was no deeper understanding.

 

What the ladder questions really helped me do when I take that break from the conflict is to figure out what is it in myself that is feeling triggered, or angry or sad, or whatever it might be. Then I can bring that back to my partner in the conflict and clearly ask for the things that I want and express the things I'm not getting. Those are the things that really helped us resolve our conflicts and not stay stuck in them. I feel like it gives me another layer of clarity and it makes me a better communicator and a better partner.

[Communication Dojo comment: If you'd like to know more about the Ladder Questions click here.]

Jesse, San Francisco, 2020