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This WAC Communication Model Can Help You Resolve Conflicts Instantly

This WAC Communication Model Can Help You Resolve Conflicts Instantly

Conflict doesn’t care if you are a vocal person or one who values harmony, it will come to you almost every single day — at home, at work, on the streets, even online. For people we know, it’s easier to communicate and resolve the conflict; but for strangers, we usually shut our mouths and let our anger pile up inside.

But what should we do when someone keeps bugging us? There are usually two routes we take: either avoid direct confrontation or confront violently. The longer we remain in the avoidance state, the more anger we pent up. At the same time, the latter doesn’t do anything apart from allowing us to vent. As far as I’m concerned, both solutions aren’t the healthiest for us.

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You may think: man, it’s hard to raise the conflict and confront someone.

We are worried of the possible consequences after a confrontation, especially facing strangers. Business Communications and Etiquette Coach Barbara Pachter has the solution to these sticky situations and confront others face-on.

In her book The Power of Positive Confrontation, she introduces the WAC model[1] — What, Ask, Check in — to teach people how to resolve conflict in a fast second. She points out the main mistake people makes in conflicts is retaliating instead of responding to the problem, which creates more tension between two parties. So here is how the WAC model works:

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1. What

The first step to resolve conflict is to identify the root of your agitation. Focus on one incident that bothers you and start from there. Avoid using words like “always” or “never”, and simply describe your concern without blaming or criticizing the action of the opposing person.

2. Ask

After you have clearly and logically raised the conflict, ask the person kindly of what you want them to do. Make sure you are clear with your request, if not, you are giving the other person to chime in and redirect the conversation to his/her favor.

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3. Check in

The last part of this model is to check in on the other person’s reaction, and the conversation usually ends with a question like “do you agree” or “is that okay for you”.

Stay calm, cool, and collected.

With the WAC model, there are some other pointers for you to perfectly execute a positive confrontation. It is so important to pick the right time and space. If someone is rushing to get to somewhere, or someone is in an emotional state already, it doesn’t hurt to wait for a while. You also have to make sure you are in the right headspace and mood when you confront others.

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So how do you actually confront positively?

Let’s take a simple workplace conflict to demonstrate — Your co-worker always takes stuffs and puts them everywhere, and it’s hard for you to find the things you need. With the WAC model, you can talk to him/her like this: “(What) It might not be a big deal for you, but when I need something at the office, I couldn’t find it. (Ask) I hope you could put things back in place after using them. (Check in) Is it okay?”

Does it really work though?

It seems to be so complex with so many steps and considerations. But with the WAC model, when you slightly change the tone and the words you use in conversations, it greatly affects the listener’s reception. Confronting without putting blame on the other person produces a much more positive outcome, which puts you and the other person at ease.

Of course, learning a new skill needs time. Start with simple situations to handle first, and build your confidence to take on more complicated conflicts. Over time, you have no fear facing tricky people and master the skill of positive confrontation.

Reference

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Frank Yung

Writer. Storyteller. Foodie.

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Last Updated on December 2, 2018

7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience

7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience

When giving a presentation or speech, you have to engage your audience effectively in order to truly get your point across. Unlike a written editorial or newsletter, your speech is fleeting; once you’ve said everything you set out to say, you don’t get a second chance to have your voice heard in that specific arena.

You need to make sure your audience hangs on to every word you say, from your introduction to your wrap-up. You can do so by:

1. Connecting them with each other

Picture your typical rock concert. What’s the first thing the singer says to the crowd after jumping out on stage? “Hello (insert city name here)!” Just acknowledging that he’s coherent enough to know where he is is enough for the audience to go wild and get into the show.

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It makes each individual feel as if they’re a part of something bigger. The same goes for any public speaking event. When an audience hears, “You’re all here because you care deeply about wildlife preservation,” it gives them a sense that they’re not just there to listen, but they’re there to connect with the like-minded people all around them.

2. Connect with their emotions

Speakers always try to get their audience emotionally involved in whatever topic they’re discussing. There are a variety of ways in which to do this, such as using statistics, stories, pictures or videos that really show the importance of the topic at hand.

For example, showing pictures of the aftermath of an accident related to drunk driving will certainly send a specific message to an audience of teenagers and young adults. While doing so might be emotionally nerve-racking to the crowd, it may be necessary to get your point across and engage them fully.

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3. Keep going back to the beginning

Revisit your theme throughout your presentation. Although you should give your audience the credit they deserve and know that they can follow along, linking back to your initial thesis can act as a subconscious reminder of why what you’re currently telling them is important.

On the other hand, if you simply mention your theme or the point of your speech at the beginning and never mention it again, it gives your audience the impression that it’s not really that important.

4. Link to your audience’s motivation

After you’ve acknowledged your audience’s common interests in being present, discuss their motivation for being there. Be specific. Using the previous example, if your audience clearly cares about wildlife preservation, discuss what can be done to help save endangered species’ from extinction.

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Don’t just give them cold, hard facts; use the facts to make a point that they can use to better themselves or the world in some way.

5. Entertain them

While not all speeches or presentations are meant to be entertaining in a comedic way, audiences will become thoroughly engaged in anecdotes that relate to the overall theme of the speech. We discussed appealing to emotions, and that’s exactly what a speaker sets out to do when he tells a story from his past or that of a well-known historical figure.

Speakers usually tell more than one story in order to show that the first one they told isn’t simply an anomaly, and that whatever outcome they’re attempting to prove will consistently reoccur, given certain circumstances.

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6. Appeal to loyalty

Just like the musician mentioning the town he’s playing in will get the audience ready to rock, speakers need to appeal to their audience’s loyalty to their country, company, product or cause. Show them how important it is that they’re present and listening to your speech by making your words hit home to each individual.

In doing so, the members of your audience will feel as if you’re speaking directly to them while you’re addressing the entire crowd.

7. Tell them the benefits of the presentation

Early on in your presentation, you should tell your audience exactly what they’ll learn, and exactly how they’ll learn it. Don’t expect them to listen if they don’t have clear-cut information to listen for. On the other hand, if they know what to listen for, they’ll be more apt to stay engaged throughout your entire presentation so they don’t miss anything.

Featured photo credit: Flickr via farm4.staticflickr.com

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