6 Tips for Resolving Conflict Using NLP


NLP offers a brilliant set of tools that will help with resolving conflict. In fact, over the years I have trained over a dozen conflict resolution and negotiation specialists who work for the upper echelons of organizations such as the United Nations, NATO, the Pentagon, and several other governmental and non-governmental organizations.

Here are 6 tips for Resolving Conflict Using NLP:

1. Dissociation from the conflict itself:
We call this the third perceptual position of NLP. An observer position. A place of non-emotion, as if you are watching yourself over there with the conflicting party. Take emotions out of the conflict and you gain additional wisdom or learning. Step into the emotions of an observer of the conflict only!

conflict resolution2. Dissociation from the individual:
I have asked several people who negotiate in life or death conflict, “how difficult is it to negotiate on behalf of human life?” In other words, where the stakes are large for others, and there may not be a win-win situation possible due to external players and factors. But the maximization of  a good outcome is crucial. Though your personal feelings and well being could be at stake resolving the conflict (for others.) None denied that this is something they sometimes think about … but not at work. In their mind, they focus on tactics of the negotiation, where human life (sadly) is considered a valuable “object.” This is in order to negotiate in the benefit of the saving the most lives possible from a tactical point of view. In preparing for conflict resolution, taking the standpoint of a tactical point of view will certainly help.

3. Build rapport, pace and lead:
When someone is yelling in a particular situation, you must of course remain calm. You match the volume, speed and tonality of the voice of the person, WITHOUT matching the angry contents. You meet someone there for a while, and then you slow down, breathe, to a calmer way of speaking. You will pace and lead the person into a calmer and more peaceful way of communicating often.

4. Pattern interrupt:
Often in conflict, it is best to stop a chain that is spiraling downward, and to do so by interrupting the pattern. After making a calm statement: “It is important to me that we resolve our discussion, but I need a moment. I am going for a walk, and will be back to resolve this problem with you in X minutes/hours. ”

5. Understand the positive intention in a large chunk size:
Often people in conflict drown in the details, and most of the time this is also where the real argument takes place. But on a very high level, what is it that each party is after? Respect, love, space, security, etc.? When you identify this, it will help you to better create a strategy to resolve the conflict.

6. Stepping into someone else’s shoes:
The saying “you don’t understand someone until you walk a mile in their shoes” is absolutely true. If you float your awareness into someone else’s shoes, it will help you figure out how that person feels. Also you can learn what they see and hear when you talk to them. It gives a better understanding of what they are after, what they need and, overall, a better understanding.

This summer Global NLP Training struck a strategic alliance with the largest coaching portal ever built, and we have been working hard in Amsterdam, Barcelona and Copenhagen to get the project off the ground. Global NLP Training will soon publish a series of videos on NLP and resolving conflict as part of this endeavor.