Successful Conflict


Four Steps For Successful Conflict
Plus upcoming workshop news



Four Steps For Successful Conflict

Start with Softened Start Up

The first step (of a 4 step process) to successful conflict management is ‘Softened Start Up’.  Softened Start Up refers to the way one chooses to begin a conflict discussion. Interestingly, 96% of the time you can predict the outcome of a conversation based on its first 3 minutes. If the conversation starts with harsh words, chances are the conversation will remain and end negatively.

Softened Start Up is easy and fortunately you already have the skills to do it! It’s about being gentle, kind and respectful when you bring up a conflict discussion. If you can start your conflict discussions in this gentle way, you have a great chance of ending it amicably and coming to a compromise.

 The following are the 4 steps to Softened Start Up:

1. Begin with a complaint rather then a criticism. A complaint is a statement of fact. When you add blame, character assassination or “always” or “never” statements it becomes a criticism. “The bedroom is a mess” is a complaint. When you say, “the bedroom is a mess, you’re such a slob” its a criticism.

Continued to the right…

Successful Conflict Continued.

2. Make “I’ instead of “you” statements. Begin your complaint by owning your feelings in the situation rather than blaming the other person. For example “I would like you  to listen to me” rather than “you are not listening to me”.


3. Describe what is happening; don’t evaluate or judge. “We haven’t gone out  in over a month and I really miss that.” rather than “you never take me out!”


4. Talk clearly about what you need. Be specific about what you want from the discussion rather then hinting at it or saying what you do not want. Try “I’d appreciate it if you would help me straighten up the playroom” rather then “The playroom is a disaster!”

 If you follow these tips when addressing conflict, you will have a much better chance, to manage it in a way that will help to maintain relationship satisfaction. By dealing with conflict in a healthy and respectful way, not only does your relationship benefit but so do your children. The research is clear on the major impact that relationship quality has on parenting and the emotional and physical health of your children.

Change Your Relationship Without Changing Your Partner.

Upcoming Couples Workshops in 2012

Feb. 25-26, 2012
The Art & Science of Love
Couples workshop


April 11-15, 2012
The Art & Science Of Love and Cycling Retreat
Tucson, Arizona
Click here for details

April 20-22, 2012
The Art & Science Of Love
Weekend Retreat
Whistler, The Brew Creek Centre.
Click here for details

Calgary, May 26-27, 2012
The Art & Science of Love
Couples Workshop
Click here for details

July 5-8, 2012
The Art & Science Of Love
4 day Retreat
Hollyhock Canadian Learning Center,
Cortes Island, BC
Click here for details

Gottman Level 2, Assessment, Intervention & Co-morbidities.
Brought to you by:
The Justice Institute of BC &

After many discussions and brainstorming sessions Gottman Level 2 is finally here once again!  Certified Gottman Consultants/Presenters, Darren Wilk and Lawrence Stoyanowski, have joined forces with TheJustice Institute of BC to provide the Gottman Level 2 on June 4-7th in Vancouver, BC.  Later in the Fall we will be offering theLevel 3 to compliment this training so that therapists from Canada can become completely certified  never having to leave the country.  We know this has been long in coming and we apologize for changing the dates from earlier in the year, however  this has made it possible to do this in coordination with the JIBC and will give opportunity for more therapists to attend.  Please keep in mind attendance will be limited, so once registration opens, do not hesitate to confirm your spot.  The on-line registration is not open yet but if you are interested, respond to this email and we will put your name at the top of the list of potential attendees and notify you as soon as the online registration goes live.  For more information about the Level 2 you can visit our website at Gottman level 2 trainings.

Level 3 coming Sept 17-20th , 2012 at the JIBC or Calgary, AB, May 22-25, 2012.

Coming for the 1st time to Canada in 2012 – Gottman Level 3 Certification For Therapists presented by Darren Wilk and Lawrence Stoyanowski.  

Take care of each other….



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