How To Connect Even Better (In The Middle Of A Conflict)

Originally published Monday, 24 September 2012.


Welcome to Step 3 in our series on conflict.

You are brilliant!

In the middle of your conflict situation, you’ve so far made the decision to:

Step1:  Take a step back, and create a space to get calm.

Next, you’ve decided to:

Step 2:  Start with an attitude of “Let’s see it from the other person’s side.”

Now, onto Step 3.

Remember our fictional couple from last week, Kelly and John?

Let’s see if she is as brilliant as you : )

Kelly is now at home, while John is off on his interminable Saturday bike ride.

She’s still upset, but has cooled down since she’s made some time and space to gather her thoughts.

She has also decided that she will use that time and space not to create a legal case against John, but instead to genuinely try to see things from his side.

But honestly, she’s having a hard time getting there.


Because thoughts like “Selfish!” and “Thoughtless!” and “I’d love to have a weekend getaway myself every Saturday too!” keep getting in her way.

So her next move is to take Step 3.

Step 3:  to pray for and about the other.  Kelly can now pray for and about John.

Does this seem too easy and obvious?

I promise you, it isn’t!

There is something profound about pulling back and seeing another human being the way God sees them: imperfect yet deeply loved.

And then what inevitably becomes apparent is that we ourselves are just that way: deeply imperfect, yet in need of being deeply loved.

This is the beginning of a softened, forgiving heart.  And this is the beginning of a real connection in any conflict, with a huge potential for a relationship-building outcome.

When we have:

  1. taken a step back,
  2. committed to having a mindset that is first “other” focused in conflict, and
  3. prayed for the other person, and at the same time remembered our own flaws and need for forgiveness…

We are now in a place where we are connected instead of cut-off by the conflict.

We now have more patience, humility, and even forgiveness towards the other person. We see now what motivates them, and what motivates our own hearts.

Kelly may not agree with John’s use of Saturdays to train.  She may dislike his choice immensely.  But with space, time, and prayer, she has remembered that she values and loves who he is, made in God’s image.  With that in place, she (and we) can find a way to care for and respect the other, even if we utterly disagree with what they are doing.

Step 3: Connect.  You have connected to the other person in a genuine way.  Now, you are ready for the last step:  cooperate to solve the conflict.

Stay tuned next week.

Question:  Do you stop and take time to genuinely pray for the people you are in conflict with? (I realize it’s not always easy.)  How does this affect the way you think about them…and yourself?






If you’d like to leave me a comment, visit Dr. Ann on Facebook: Click here

Dr. Ann’s Coaching Corner:  do you have a life or work coaching question? Simply send me an email and I’ll feature your question and my answer on the blog.  To email me your questions, click here.

And you can get a free copy of my e-Booklet, “How To Make A Map For Your Marriage.” 

Dr. Ann is a M.D. who writes, speaks, and coaches.  Her mission is to empower women in life and work! Coaching With Dr. Ann is syndicated on, and has been featured on BlogHer.comMichaelHyatt.comFox news, and Good Morning America.  

Copyright Dr. Ann 2012

(photo credit: