Many of us avoid conflict.  Many of us are people pleasers. Often, this is because we do not want to hurt the other person, or because we find conflict frightening, or because we think it won’t improve matters to speak up whilst we risk making matters worse.  We may be scared of damaging the relationship. We may be scared of the other person’s anger. We may be scared of own anger.

When we avoid conflict, the issues tend to remain unresolved, and often we pay a high price.  We may become stressed, we may feel taken advantage of, we may feel self pity, we may feel angry, or we may turn our feelings inward and become depressed.  We may find we bear grudges or that our relationships are disappointing.  We may make ourselves ill.

Some of us love a good argument, but do not like it when a debate turns to conflict.  Some of us aren’t afraid of conflict but look at unresolved conflict in a completely different way – as a source of stress and as a weight around our necks.  Some of us enjoy conflict but people complain to us that we are too assertive, or tell us that they find us aggressive.  We may be aware that we are damaging relationships that matter to us and/or holding ourselves back in our careers, because of the way people experience us.

Research findings are repeatedly showing that unresolved inter-parental conflict is damaging to children’s well being and life prospects.

Whether we revel in conflict, or whether we try to avoid it, many of us feel unskilled at resolving unwanted conflict, finding that too often we freeze like a rabbit in the headlights or make things worse.  Conflict is often the result of poor communication. It can result in a breakdown in communication.

A basic pre-requisite for resolving conflict is good communication.  As communication improves, the result is often a dramatic de-escalation.  Often, the conflict seems to vanish into thin air.  Communicating well doesn’t sound hard but, as most of us know, in practice, it is far from easy.   It is often difficult for people to listen to us and to hear what we are saying and we often find it difficult to listen to others – except to listen out for the flaws in what they are saying or to listen for a good time to butt in with what we have to say.

It can often feel as though communication problems and conflict exist because of how the other person is and that therefore nothing can be done.  Generally, however, we are inadvertently contributing to the situation.  On the Stop Seeing Red course you will discover how you play your part in difficulties of communication and learn what it takes to speak so others can listen and listen so others will speak.  You will learn what fuels anger and conflict on the one hand and what you can do to reduce conflict, and resolve issues, on the other.  For example, the course will help you investigate what makes a communication feel aggressive to the person on the receiving end and how you can communicate assertively instead. The other person doesn’t have to change for communication between you to improve: as you change, so will the pattern of your communications and your relationships.

In order to effect change, we have to put our learning into practice.  The course gives you the opportunity to practice new ways of communicating and conflict resolution tools and to make mistakes in a safe environment.