I think most if not all of us have had to either work or be with people who we might disagree with or have a difficult time coexisting with. As we are entering our second month of quarantine stuck at home, tensions are rising between my family members as we have never spent such a long time with each other without a break. With frustrations increasing by the minute, I find it helpful to have tools to deal with conflict resolution to avoid making mistakes we’ll regret in the future. Today, I want to introduce you to one of the most useful tools I’ve learned to use when I’m in a difficult situation with others: the 24-Hour Rule.
During my freshman year of high school, I started to grow out of my shell and launched myself into various leadership roles. With this came the development of my firey personality that is quick to react and does not take no for an answer. My sassy remarks and witty one-liners rapidly landed me in the office of the vice-principal at my school for sending a passive-aggressive and petty email to a teacher I was frustrated with at the time. Thankfully, instead of giving me a detention slip and sending me on my way, the vice-principal sat me down and had a mature and incredibly insightful conversation with me. It was through this meeting that I learned the power of not letting my emotions dictate my actions.
I can’t take credit for this rule because I actually got it from my vice-principal, but the idea is to take some time to clear your head before you react to a situation with others. Back then, for me, it started with putting my phone down and waiting just an extra day to respond to an email. Now, I won’t even address a disagreement I’ve had with a friend before at least giving myself the night to cool down. I’ve learned that a lot of the fights I used to pick were meaningless to me in a couple of hours and ended up having long-term repercussions.
Professionally, I have been able to have a productive conversation with my colleagues instead of a heated exchange when we are not on the same page. I have learned that when I give myself some time to reflect, I can put myself in the shoes of the other person. I am also more willing to approach the conversation with a reconciliatory attitude instead of trying to prove a point aggressively. Overall, this rule has dramatically had a positive impact on my relationships with others and my mental health when it comes to addressing issues that arise.
For this week’s #MakeItHappen, take a second to remove yourself from a negative situation before reacting to it. Take 24 hours to think about what is truly important to you and try to understand the perspective of the other person instead of firing back with a biased viewpoint. And most importantly, let us know some tips you have for conflict resolution by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org and tag us on social.
Go make it happen,
Stefano & the YTeach Team
“Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret.”
– Ambrose Bierce