15 Rules for Fighting Fair

Strong, lasting, mutually beneficial relationships are an important key to your life and career success.  The best way to build these types of relationships is to pay it forward.  Do for others without expecting them to do for you.  People respond positively to those who are willing to help them out with no expectation of return.  Ironically, when you do for others without expecting them to reciprocate, you often get a lot in return.

No matter how good you are at building relationships you are, you will occasionally find yourself in a conflict situation.  When this happens focus on resolving the conflict in a manner that does no damage to the relationships you’ve worked hard to build.  Better yet, use conflict to strengthen your relationships.  Tweet 133 in my career advice book Success Tweets says, “Resolve conflict positively.  Treat conflict as an opportunity to strengthen, not destroy, the relationships you’ve worked hard to build.”

That’s why it’s important for you to learn how to fight fair.  When you fight fair, you’ll minimize the damage to your relationships.

Here are my best 15 ideas for fighting fair…

Rules for Fighting Fair

  1. Know what you’re fighting about.  Be clear on the point of disagreement.
  2. Stay focused.  Stick to one subject only.  Don’t let the conversation deteriorate to a laundry list of grievances you have with one another.
  3. Be direct – say how you feel about the situation and what you want from the other person.
  4. Choose the time of your battles carefully.  Avoid beginning conversations that can lead to serious disagreements when you won’t have the time to finish them.
  5. Be discreet.  It’s never a good idea to argue or fight in public.  Keep your disagreements private.
  6. Listen to what the other person says and respond accordingly.  Avoid filtering information.  Don’t try to read the other person’s mind.
  7. Be clear with what you think.  Express your thoughts clearly.  Don’t expect the other person to read your mind.
  8. Acknowledge your share of the blame for the situation.  Don’t put all of the blame the other person.
  9. Own your own feelings – this means starting sentences with ‘I feel’, not “you make me feel”.
  10. Speak respectfully to the other person.  Don’t put him or her down.
  11. Take the high ground.  Don’t hit below the belt.
  12. On the other hand, don’t wear your belt too high – don’t be overly sensitive.
  13. Stay in the present.  Don’t bring up past disagreements and use them as ammunition for the present one.
  14. Listen actively.
  15. Never let an argument or disagreement deteriorate to the point of physical violence.

The career success coach point here is simple common sense.  No matter how good you are at building relationships, you will find yourself in conflict on occasion.  When you do, focus on doing no damage to the relationships you’ve worked so hard to build.  Fighting fair is the best way to avoid letting conflict and disagreement damage your relationships.  In this post I have presented 15 rules for fighting fare.  Learn them and use them and you’ll be able to maintain, and even strengthen, your relationships while resolving conflicts and interpersonal differences.

That’s my career advice on fighting fair.  What do you think?  Please take a minute to share your thoughts with us in a comment.  As always, I really appreciate you taking the time to read my daily thoughts on life and career success.  Thanks for reading.


PS: If you haven’t already done so, please download a free copy of my popular career advice book Success Tweets and its companion piece Success Tweets Explained.  The first gives you 140 bits of career success advice tweet style — in 140 characters or less.  The second is a whopping 390 + pages of career advice explaining each of the common sense tweets in Success Tweets in detail.  Go to http://budurl.com/STExp to claim your free copy.  You’ll also start receiving my daily life and career success quotes.

PPS: I opened a membership site last September.  It’s called My Corporate Climb and is devoted to helping people create career success inside large corporations.  You can find out about the membership site by going to http://www.mycorporateclimb.

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