Conflict with Grace

When I was working in the corporate world, there was not a day that went by in which the conflict resolution strategies on napkinword “no” constantly was used.  You see, I was working in the role of giving pricing approvals to the sales team.  As you can image, saying “no” was not exactly what anyone wanted to hear.  I quickly learned that with each “no”, there needed to be grace in what was considered CONFLICT!  So I developed a methodology of handling conflict with grace.

As I began to implement this process, there was less conflict in all my conversations.  My boss told me … “Denise, you can say “no” in such a way that has people coming back for more.”  I took this as a compliment.

What do I mean by handling conflict with grace?  There are moments in life where you immediately know that no matter what you do, say or think … conflict is bound to arise.  Whether it is just your history of past events, situations that tell you the conflict is coming or it is your gut … it happens.  Image for a moment the times you tell your children “no” to hanging out at a friend’s house or staying out later than their curfew.  Or, at work telling your team that “no, leaving early on a holiday weekend or taking that day off” is not going to work.  The conflict occurs when the response given is felt as one of rejection or of anger that they couldn’t do what they wanted to do.


When this conflict comes up, you can begin to feel conflict yourself … what a horrible boss you are or you always have to be the bad guy with the kids.  Sometimes guilt can set in or even your own sense of rejection that things didn’t go your way.

Here is a 3 step process of handling conflict with grace.

  1. Value you
  2. Communicate effectively
  3. Say it, story it with support and say it again

Let’s look at the first step … Value You

Value yourself sign with blurred background

Value yourself sign with blurred background

Ask yourself “Who am I?”  and “What really matters to me … my values?”  This process of fully understanding who you are and what you value begins the process of building your solid foundation.  As you find the answers to these questions, you will begin to exhibit the behaviors that go along with your definition of you.

Solid foundation … YOU! 

Who are you?  What do you stand for?  What do you do to show who you are?

Begin here.  Spend time really looking for concrete specific answers to these questions.  The details matter here.  One way to do this is to make a list of all the characteristics, personality traits, beliefs, etc. when answering “Who am I?”  Do the same thing for the other two questions.  Once you have this list, really sit with it and feel it within your soul, your gut, your inner being.

Once you determine who you are … you can’t be anyone else.

More in the next couple of weeks.  Stay tuned.

If you would like to learn more about this process, click below to have a conversation with me.  Conflict will never look the same again.