3-Step Winning Formula Conversations
When conflict happens, it may be subconscious, but it’s not an accident. That person wants power over you … and NOW. But if you don’t know the winning formula to turn ‘power over’ into connection right then, you’ve lost. Lost respect, lost status and worst of all, you’ve either lost reputation — or solidified a decidedly unhelpful-to-you reputation…
… But when you do these three steps, you win AND shift the power-play from “power over” to something far better: Power WITH — and with this you’ve shifted the aggressor’s perspective to surprise, To respect.
Because they know you’ve got game. You’re talented. Adept.
Think sports. Even when the Ref makes a bad call (it happens, no one’s perfect), no one respects a crybaby on the field. Or a blamer. Or screamer.
What they do respect is taking the ref’s call and coming back stronger on the next play.
Never played a sport? Hardly ever watched much sport? No worries, you’ve probably…
… seen or heard a comedian being interviewed, and laughed at the comic back-and-forth with the host
… enjoyed both comedian and host poke comic jabs at one another
But if one of them gets in a huff & storms off stage? If one of them goes crying to the show’s producer They’re…
Never to be seen again.
In every game, self-control is essential to good team play and truly, “no one likes a spoil sport.” (Did I mention how a good sense of humor sets you apart in virtually every setting? And even more so in challenging moments? It’s true.)
Step 1: SPOT “IT” … the quip, the snide remark, the challenge, the dismissive gesture. The honest remark that might have had currency … 30 years ago. It’s almost always obvious.
And yes … there is the whole class of interactions where one group is “at the ready” for giving some innocent passer-by an irritating poke, ribbing or insult. A group that’s just WAITING for someone ‘nice’ to come along, pass by. Think the classic construction workers on break scenario that most women have wished they had an answer to. Psssst … help is here, ladies & Yep, I’m picking on those guys…?)
One good quip deserves another, and good team play DEPENDS upon you recognizing the OPPORTUNITY — for when you do, you can easily setup a one good play (theirs) deserves another (your play?) — especially if the initiator’s quip backhands someone in a different-from-them social grouping. Why?
#1 Rule of Humor: When you are making a joke or poking fun … people at your social status or above are always fair game. Making fun of lower-status social groups than yours? Nope. Nope. Nope. NO. Leave that to fools. It comes across humorless, petty and mean.
#2 Rule of Humor: Wit is essential (don’t worry, more on that soon, so read on!) That serves ONLY the aggressor, not you. And it’s why prevailing wisdom’s “cool off & talk it out” advise regularly fails — the “win” has already been had. You’ve been played. Your status? Diminished.
And you don’t have to put up with that.
It just takes a bit of skill. And attitude.
So enjoy this deeper dive into my free gift “What No One Told You About How to Handle Conflict“, (so if you don’t have it already, Click here & Grab It!)
Step 2: FLIP That QUIP! (or as your “How to Handle Conflict” GIFT has it, “FLIP IT” … whatever the “it” is✨)
Think about the last funny joke you heard…
The thing that made if funny? The twist at the end. Something unexpected. Novel. Surprising.
That’s what I mean by “Flipping It” … a bit like a GREAT gymnastics move. Where the line of thinking was heading in one direction (aka: to play you or diminish you or people like you) … and your remark, your gesture, sent that line of thinking in a whole new direction — and with a bit of fun.
Why’s the funny part essential? When people laugh with you, they bond with you. Identify with you. They like you. Because you took a slight or off-color remark and did the unexpected.
Story time: Early in my professional life, when I was walking down the hall to a meeting. A long of a hall, with offices on each side. My then boss saw me and wanted my attention, calling out “Hey sweetheart”. I…
— walked on, straightening up my spine. Saying NOTHING.
Again he called out “Hey doll”
Then solidifying my determination
and walking more queenly. Saying NOTHING.
Finally he called out “Hey Dorothy”
(by this time heads were popping out offices to witness the showdown)
Slooowly I came to a stop
Turned slightly and slowly. Then just two slow words
The hall erupted in laughter and in that moment, I was the queen. Romeo the jester.
And yep, his name really was Romeo. Still is.
All that took was recognizing the opportunity he had made for me, and hoisting him by the collar of his own scheme. With all the royal bearing this country gal could bring. #PowerWITH
I never spoke of it again, until years later, and for the good aim of training others. In another state, far away.
It’s one thing to win. It’s quite another to rub their noses in it. Besides, I knew him well enough to stay clear of his taste for vengeance.
Step 3: STICK the Landing. Think the world-class gymnast, dismounting the pommel horse … and sticking that landing. Balanced. Feet together. Standing to full height, head slightly back, arms to the heavens in a “V” for victory.
Yours will be subtler, and this will be a good thing for you. In the “Yes, Romeo” scene, it was the phrase. The “Yes, Romeo.”
In other scenarios, it’s a simple redirect command you make, in a matter-of-fact voice. Such as “now show me what you’ve got on this..” It’s the necessary off-ramp from Step 2 and it does THREE critical things:
- Gets their mind off of what just happened
- Let’s them know the relationship is intact
- .. and MOST important, slightly elevates their status << people you’ve just schooled will RESPECT YOU for this. They’ll be your allies.
And THAT’s a triple win.
Ready for more? Tell me about it in your Comment!
Cheers to YOU,
Dorothy “Have fun & make respect a 2-way street” Kuhn