In a perfect world we might not have a need to write this article, or would we? If everyone always got along, would that mean we all agreed on everything? And wouldn't that make for a very boring world? Disagreeing with others isn't necessarily a bad thing and if done constructively it can even be a positive experience. Disagreements can bring on change and foster new ideas. So, it really isn't that important that you have disagreements within your cheerleading squad, it's the way you agree to handle them and resolve any cheerleading conflicts that matters the most.
Resolving Cheerleading Conflicts and Disagreements
- Communicate openly with everyone on the cheerleading squad and everyone involved. People cannot read your mind. If you don't agree with something, you should say so.
- Don't discuss your problem with people not directly involved in hopes of getting them to side with you. Go to the source of the problem.
- Don't allow the problem to grow or get worse. The more angry you get, the harder it will be to find a resolution and for the cheerleading squad to move on or past the problem.
- Try to keep the situation private. Don't confront the person in front of a group. Some people will react differently in a one on one situation than they will in a group.
- Stick to the facts, don't let your emotions become the center of the conversation.
- Express yourself and the problem clearly and in a non-accusing way.
- Give the other person a chance to respond without interrupting.
- Listen closely.
- Don't make assumptions or interpretations about what the other person is saying or has said.
- Make sure you understand what is being said, even if you have to repeat it back.
- Try to put yourself in the other person's position.
- Don't resort to name calling, threats or intimidation. These actions don't solve problems and they usually just make them worse.
- Remember how you say something is almost as important as what you're saying. You don't have to raise your voice to be heard. Save the yelling for your cheering.
- Use appropriate body language and facial expressions.
- Be willing to accept and take responsibility for your part of the problem.
- After each side has had an opportunity to speak and respond, move forward to what can be done to solve the problem.
- Stay on track, and try to find some common goals you can both agree on.
- Be willing to compromise, if it's appropriate, and try to choose a solution everyone can live with.
- If you still can't agree on a solution or work the problem out, ask someone else to step in and help resolve the conflict.
No one would argue with the fact that it is much better for squad members to get along. But if there comes a time when you have a conflict, be prepared and agree on how to disagree in advance. It's just natural for cheerleaders to keep a positive attitude, how else can they shout "We're #1" when their team is losing? Take that same positive attitude and apply it to your cheerleading problems. Take a negative situation and turn it into something constructive. It will not only make you a stronger person, it will help you build a stronger relationship with your cheerleading squad and resolve any cheerleading conflicts that come your way.