- Address the problem(s).
Be specific - don't bring up other conflicts or past hostilities. Confront the issue, not the person. Describe your feelings and your views objectively while defining the problem and analyzing how it developed.
- Generate possible solutions:
Sit down together and try to list as many possible solutions as you can. Don't be afraid to include some silly ones; they'll break the tension. The more ideas you come up with, the more you will have to choose from and a better pool from which to make a choice.
- Evaluate the possible solutions:
Try to find one that meets each person's needs, goals and views, given the time and resources available.
- Decide on a solution:
It will involve some compromise for all parties. But, realize that compromise doesn't mean you lose.
- Put the solution into action:
Make a plan for using your solution and follow-up to see how it is working. Establish short-range goals to help check your progress.
From About Improving Your Interpersonal Skills, a Scriptographic Booklet, Channing L. Bete Co., Inc., South Deerfield, MA 01373, 1984.