[imageeffect image=”1226″ width=”283″ height=”188″ align=”alignleft” lightbox=”yes” target=”_self” alt=”ABC Conflict Resolution”]The ABC drill is intended to show you that you have unique, personal beliefs that drive how you see the world. We think that our beliefs are accurate and that’s why we hold them; but often our beliefs are colored by our personal experiences and what we’ve learned in our families. Personal beliefs are not necessarily universally held beliefs.

What you personally believe about the things that are happening around you, affect how you behave. Our beliefs may or may not match reality; and our beliefs may or may not have a positive impact on our lives.? Our hope is that this drill will give you the freedom to start choosing the beliefs that work for you and discarding the beliefs that work against you.

How many of you have experienced this? You say or do something with the best of intentions and it is completely misinterpreted and a fight erupts.

Your intentions can be completely noble, but the impact may be a disaster!? This is an example of how your beliefs don’t match your mate’s beliefs.

This is one of the biggest mistakes we make in relationships.? We think that everybody sees things the same way that we do. This disconnect can lead to conflict and the understanding of this can change the way
you?communicate.

So we are going to break this down for you.? Every experience has an A, a B, and a C.

A = ACTION

We have conflict when this happens?

B = BELIEF

When this happens my BELIEF is that?

C = CONSEQUENCE

Based on my BELIEF, this happens next?

Let’s say you, the husband, get home and your wife is on the phone.?You might be thinking, “She’s been (A) talking on the phone all day and (B) ignoring her responsibilities.? She’s just plain irresponsible”. The consequence is that a (C) fight erupts.

Now, underlying even this negative belief is another, deeper belief.

You might be thinking, “She’s been (A) talking on the phone all day and (B) ignoring her responsibilities, which means that she doesn’t care about me”.? The consequence is that a (C) fight erupts.

We are now going to focus on ONE issue that creates conflict in your relationship.

We are going to take this conflict and diagram it out like you would diagram a sentence.? We are NOT going to try to solve this issue; that comes later so be patient.? You will label the A-action, B-belief, and C-consequence.

Here’s an example

When you “A” ?? come home late from work, I “B” believe that you are procrastinating because you don’t want to spend time with me and then I “C” give you the cold shoulder when you walk in the door.

So start with the A-Action and write this in your notebook.
–30 seconds–

Now write down the B-Belief and write this in your notebook.
–30 seconds–

Now write down the C-Consequence and write this in your notebook.
–30 seconds–

You are now going to share with your partner.

Ladies­čśĽ Share your A-B-C conflict with your partner.
–2 Minute–

Men: This is your opportunity to play therapist: Give your perspective on an alternative / positive belief in the diagram.
–1 Minute–

Men: Share your A-B-C conflict with your partner.
–2 Minute–

Ladies: This is your opportunity to play therapist: Give your perspective on an alternative/positive belief in the diagram.
–1 Minute–

I hope you are able to see that what you believe drives what you do and how you feel.? The point of the ABC drill is to answer two questions:? does your BELIEF match reality and does your BELIEF work FOR your relationship or AGAINST your relationship.

The good news is that you have choices in your thought life; you can choose what you think and believe, just like you have choices over your behavior.

Conflict Resolution

Now that you have a better understanding of your conflict and how each of you has a different perspective on the conflict, we can now start on the process of resolving conflict.? Before entering into the arena of conflict resolution, make sure that you fully understand the Rules Of Engagement.

[blockquote type=”blockquote_line” align=”left” width=”100%”] A word of caution ?? each of you must have a handle on your anger and not be in a triggered state. Trying to resolve conflict when you are in a heightened state is a set up for failure.?[/blockquote]

This illustration gives you the entire end-to-end process.? It may look simple, but it can be quite challenging.? Each person will go through the slow and steady process, then you will switch and the 2nd person will do the same.? Be sure to stick with the allotted time and if you need more time, negotiate an agreement to add.? Do not filibuster!? Remember, when one person is talking, the other is listening very carefully.

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End to End Process

    • One issue with a complete ABC Picture
    • Hear each side’s perspective and feelings
    • Mirror back the perspective and feelings
    • Hear each side’s best case solution
    • What are you willing to settle for?
    • Negotiate a mutual resolution

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The first step of Conflict Resolution is explaining your perspective.? This should be from the heart and as real as you can be.? This can be a purely selfish point of view.? The challenge will be for the listening partner; you will have to listen carefully, even if what you are hearing is making you mad.? The listener will have to put their feelings, thoughts, and opinions on hold for a moment.? Remember, their perspective is their perspective and each of you will have a chance to share.? You do not have to agree with this version of the story; you simply have to empathize with the dilemma by mirroring back what was said.? If you are getting triggered, you have just made this about you. LISTEN! YOU DO NOT HAVE TO AGREE WITH THEM!

Here is an example of (A) ONE ISSUE, (B) TWO BELIEFS/PERSPECTIVES, (C) THE CONSEQUENCE.

Her Side

When you (A) challenge me about every penny I spend, I (B) feel belittled and powerless, then I (C) shut down and a cold war starts.

His Side

When you (A) spend money that we don’t have, I (B) feel the need to control you, then I (C) take the credit cards and a crap storm starts.

HER PERSPECTIVE

Ladies: Give your side of the issue; describe the battle in as much detail as possible.? Share how this makes you feel.
–2 Minutes–

Men: Mirror back what she just said, “What I heard you say is?├Ć?” “I know you feel?”
–30 Seconds??

ROAD BLOCKS

Often the conflict gets stirred up when you start to hear each other’s perspective. Here are some common roadblocks that must be avoided at all costs if you truly want to resolve the conflict.? If you throw out a roadblock, you will stop the work and turn this into a power struggle instead of a resolution session!

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Some typical Road Blocks…

    • Challenging the speaker
    • Defending yourself
    • Trying to rewrite the story with more “accuracy”

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HIS PERSPECTIVE

OK ladies, this is your time to LISTEN!

Men: Give your side of the issue; describe the battle in as much detail as possible.? Share how this makes you feel.
–2 Minute–

Ladies: Mirror back what he just said, “What I heard you say is?├Ć?” “I know you feel?”
–30 Seconds–

WIN-WIN

Negotiate, Barter, Compromise, Sacrifice

You have now heard each other’s side of the story.? You’ve also heard each other’s feelings about the issue.? You’re now going to share your own personal view of how to solve this issue.? Remember to stay on ONE topic.

Ladies: Tell your mate your best-case solution and how you would feel about getting this issue behind you.
–1 Minute–

Men: Mirror back what she just said AND how she feels, “What I heard is ?” “I know you feel ?”
–1 Minute–?

Men: Tell your mate your best-case solution and how you would feel about getting this issue behind you.
–1 Minute–

Ladies: Mirror back what he just said AND how he feels, “What I heard is ?” “I know you feel ?”
–1 Minute–

Now that you have heard each other’s ideas on resolving the issue, we’re going to compromise and share what we would be willing to settle for.

Ladies: Tell your mate what you would be willing to settle for to resolve this issue.
–1 Minute–

Men: Mirror back what she just said, “What I heard you say is?”
–30 Seconds–

Men: Tell your mate what you would be willing to settle for to resolve this issue.
–1 Minute–

Ladies: Mirror back what he just said, “What I heard you say is?”
–30 Seconds–

You should now have as much information as you need to get to a solution if you are willing to give a little.? Negotiate, barter, compromise, sacrifice, and get creative!

Now take 3 Minutes to negotiate a solution that is a WIN/WIN for both of you.? Be sure to include YOUR COMMITMENT to make this work.? Once you have the solution write it down as a game plan.
–3 Minutes??

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