Reducing Conflict

10% of conflict is due to difference in opinion and 90% is due to wrong tone of voice

I saw this sign posted in the employee area of a client.  Honestly, this is the first time that I recall seeing or hearing this quote. Although the quote was most likely  inspired for personal relationships, I was impressed to see this sign posted in a retail store.

I talked with a few colleagues about the quote and there was a consensus that, although optimistic, the 90% number seemed a little high.  I countered that even if the number was 50% it was still dramatic.  I asked myself if I could reduce the volume of conflict in my life by 50% by just monitorig and adjusting the tone  of my voice would it be worth it?  I said aloud “I’ll take those odds.”

angry_customerFor example, I took a pool sample to the pool store (a weekly errand during the summer.)  At the pool store the analyze the sample and have chemicals there you can purchase if there is a level that is low or high.  The rep was testing ym sample and looked at me and said “What do you have your chlorine set at?”  I thought to myself that this was such a poor way of asking a customer a question.  Maybe it would be better to state along the lines “Your chlorine seems pretty low, what is it set at?”  Not much of a difference in number of words but I  believe a huge difference in tone.

I have decided to incoroporate a greater awareness in my tone when talking with customers and colleagues.  After listening fully, paying attention to what I say and how I say it.  If pausing to listen and pausing again to concentrate on my tone can reduce conflict even by 50% I am all for it.




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