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The CUDSAIR Method of Conflict Management

Love and anger sometimes feel like two sides of the same coin.  The people you love tend to make you angrier than people you do not love.  When you and the people you love get into fights, sometimes the fighting will dissolve into name calling or cheap shots to the point where the conversation is no longer a conversation – At this point is when conflict management is so important.  So often, arguments between friends, family members and spouses turn into an opportunity to say things that you do not mean or that do not need to be said.  This kind of fighting behavior can lead to the destruction of almost any kind of relationship.  In order to break this cycle and save your relationships, you can use the CUDSAIR method of conflict management.

What is the CUDSAIR Method?

The CUDSAIR method provides structure to your conflicts and helps you focus on what the current problem is rather than escalating into character attacks and other problems that do not factor in at this moment in this argument.  It can also help you work toward finding an understanding and working toward an acceptable solution for both you and the person you love.

CUDSAIR stands for Confront, Understand, Define, Search, Agree, Implement, and Review.

C – Confront the Problem

Rather than jumping in with accusations and frustrations, make a conscious effort to deal with a problem together.  Instead of confronting each other, talk about confronting the problem and how you can work together to solve it.

U – Understand the Problem and Your Partner

The more you yell and make the conflict about only your feelings, the less you are going to hear and understand your partner.  In most conflicts, there is rarely a clear right or wrong answer.  You could be partly to blame for the conflict that you are experiencing.  It is important to really listen to and understand what your partner is saying.  Listen closely and fully.  Ask questions when you have them but you do not need to debate the validity of the claims your partner is making.  His or her feelings are valid because they belong to him or her.  You expect to be offered that same courtesy.

D – Define the Problem

Now that you have both heard each other’s points, reiterate what you hear as the main problem and the source of your conflict.  You will need to understand the problem before you start to solve it.  Being on the same page as your partner is essential.  If you do not agree on the problem that needs to be solved, you should go back to the previous step.

S – Solution Search

At this point, you should start to brainstorm about ways to solve the problem at hand.  Since they are just ideas, your solutions do not need to be practical or realistic. They just need to be solution idea that will help you eventually come to a workable compromise.  Try to stay away from accusations or suggestions that are clearly meant to provoke your partner.  Write your ideas down.  There might be something that comes out of this discussion that will lead you toward a compromise that will suit you both.

A – Agree on a Solution

You should be done brainstorming, so now it is time to come up with the answer to your question or the solution to your problem.  Go back over the ideas you came up with during brainstorming and create the solution that will work best for the both of you.  You are going to need to make some concessions and do some work for the sake of having a healthy relationship and so will your partner.  No one is going to get exactly what he or she wants, but there is no reason why you cannot both have some of what you want. An imperfect solution that you both agree on is better than a perfect solution that leaves one partner out in the cold.

I – Implement the Solution

And now is when the real work begins.  You and your partner will both need to keep up your ends of the bargain and make the agreed upon solution work for both of you.

R – Review

If this is a big solution, sit down every so often and talk about how things are going.  Make changes if something is not working and talk about the effectiveness of the solution.

Using the CUDSAIR method, you should be able to talk out any kind of difficulty you may have with anyone in a healthy and productive manner.  Dissolving into a screaming match is not going to be effective or healthy for either party.  This effective communication system can make conflicts easier to deal with and help you and your partner feel better about the state of your whole relationship.

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