Words matter — useful phrases for deescalating conflict
When it comes to disagreements, what we say and how we say it make a significant difference in the outcome of the conversation.
It’s important for us to choose our words carefully, but often that’s a challenge when we’re caught up in the emotion of the moment.
Here are a few helpful phrases and questions to know so you can practice using them the next time there’s a conflict.
- Can you clarify what you meant when you said [____]?
- What I hear you saying is [____]. Is that accurate?
- I’d like to better understand your perspective. How did [____] make you feel?
- Thanks for sharing — I know it might not be easy to talk about [____].
- When you did/said [____], I felt [____].
- What’s most frustrating to you about [____]? Why is that?
- What does your preferred outcome look like?
- Perhaps we could work together to resolve this by [____].