Two-Step Approach to Resolving Conflicts

Do you approach difficult people with an open mind?


Deadrick Leonard, foster youth advocate, entrepreneur and speaker, believes in an empathetic approach to dealing with difficult people. Instead of focusing on what’s difficult about the person or situation, Deadrick suggests, “Try to understand what is making him or her difficult and what his or her intentions are.” By positioning yourself as an empathetic listener, you open up the door to a deeper level of understanding and teamwork within the situation. Deadrick’s second tip is to step back and remove your emotions from the situation. By pulling back your emotions, you’re able to respond logically rather than react emotionally.

My approach to dealing with difficult people is firstly, I understand in some way, lack of a better term, why are they difficult? What is making them difficult with this particular situation? Because when you understand the heart of people, you can understand and respond the right way. The second thing I do is I make sure I pull my feelings out of the equation. Because oftentimes, when we make decisions based on our feelings, the feeling that we are feeling at that particular time is always going to influence our decision. So if we're mad, we make angry decisions. If we're sad, we make depressed decisions, and not always wondering how the other person feels but necessarily just based on how we feel. So I pull my feelings out of the situation and make a strategic, integral decision based upon that person and the difficult situation. That's easier said than done because oftentimes, you can leave a room thinking something is fixed and then it comes up. But I feel like a difficult situation is fixed based upon how people act after it. Based upon their actions after that situation determines truly whether or not the talk or the conversation was even effective.

Deadrick Leonard

Deadrick Leonard is a Global Transformational Speaker, entrepreneur, advocate for foster and homeless youth, youth minister, and entertainer who doesn't mind sharing his messes in exchange for your education, empowerment, and entertai...

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