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How Emotional Hot Buttons Affect Conflict

How Emotional Hot Buttons Affect Conflict

Conflict often feels uncomfortable because it stirs up emotional reactions that can be hard to deal with. That’s not to say you can’t get excited or passionate about your side of a conflict. The discomfort comes from negative emotions, which are triggered because the conflict has pushed a hot button. If you want to negotiate conflict effectively, you have to know what your hot buttons are so that you can disconnect the link between feelings and behavior. One way that CCL helps leaders figure out what their hot buttons are is to encourage them to keep journal notes about situations in which they feel angry, withdrawn, tearful, anxious, or some other typically negative response. Recording your responses in a journal gives you a chance to examine them closely and honestly. This can take some time. You can step back and see that it’s not necessarily another person who is making you feel a particular way. Your response may have more to do with you than it does with them. With that realization you are one step closer to an effective means for dealing with conflict because you can focus on ideas, not on emotions.

Hot Buttons Online

Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida, a CCL Network Associate, has developed a brief online assessment tool that is part of a larger instrument called the Conflict Dynamics Profile. You can use this short assessment to identify some of your hot buttons. Look for it at www.conflictdynamics.org



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