Listening for Needs in Conflict Resolution

How often do your pay attention to your own needs? Are you listening for other people’s needs? As an introvert by nature and a lover of my quiet time for reading, I thought I might get into tip-top shape health-wise and envisioned eating healthy meals, exercising daily, drinking lots of water, and enjoying ample sleep during this COVID time. Some days, I do just that. Other days, I feel like the little child who resists taking a nap and eating the vegetables. I know what my body needs, yet I do not always listen to it. In the past, my body has shut down leaving me bedridden with the flu or experienced pain with another health issue forcing me to change the way I took care of myself.  

I do not always pay attention and listen to my own needs even though I know the importance of knowing someone’s needs in conflict resolution. Listening for the underlying need helps get to the crux of the issue and facilitate a constructive conversation.

How often do you think, “I wonder what I need” or “what does this person need?” Listening for needs, whether at home, in the workplace and out in the community, makes a huge difference. Most everyone desires belonging, connection, clarity, meaning, peace, physical well-being, personal safety, and play in some form or another. Identifying the actual need, before debating the ways to meet the need, plays an important role in conflict resolution. When people delve into the underlying need, it allows for a more open dialogue offering space to create ideas for resolution.  

How often do you pay attention to your own needs? Are you willing to listen for the underlying need when someone shuts down, screams out, or makes a request for something?  

Listening for needs plays an important step the path to resolving conflict and creating peace. Check out the free Naming Needs resource for help: https://brucknermediation.com/peacebuilding-tools/

A civil and family mediator, peace builder, and educator, Sherry Ann Bruckner lives in Alexandria, Minnesota. Visit brucknermediation.com/services to learn more or call Sherry at (320) 808-3212 for help to transform conflict and create peace.

As always, be gentle with you. Be gentle with all. Be the peace.