The 5 C’s of Conflict Communication

As Family Law Attorneys who believe strongly in reducing conflict we are constantly looking out for recommendations for our clients regarding their communication skills. Even where a relationship may be over, clients may still face co-parenting in a relationship where tensions run high.


Lisa Gabardi, a PHD and psychotherapist who aids divorcing clients lays out the 5 C’s of Conflict Communication on her blog this week; a set of 5 skills that build on each other and are wonderful reminders of how to communicate effectively during your divorce and in the years following. Here is a very brief summary of these 5’Cs; we recommend reading her full description on the link above.


  •  Calm: We are subject to our biology and if we let our emotions rear, our flight-or-fight hormones will step in and take control over our ability to think logically about the situation. Calm is the key to implementing the other C’s.
  •  Contained: Creating a safe space for communication can require laying a set of ground rules about how the communication will take place.
  •  Clarity: Clarity is multifaceted, and means hearing the message under the emotion; for yourself and others.
  •  Creative: Recognizes the differences in your points of view and allows space for non-judgmental problem solving, moving the discussion forward in a productive way.
  •  Child-Centered: Separating your needs, pain, and emotions from those of your children can be hard to do, but necessary. Lowering conflict can help children develop and grow without the toxicity of unhealthy relationships.

Visit Garadi’s blog for a full description and example of how to implement the 5 C’s in your own communications. When selecting your divorce team, it is important to consider an attorney who will help reduce conflict throughout the process. To see our article about why a high-conflict attorney may not be in your best interest visit our post here: Is a Bull-Dog Attorney Right for You? 


For a free consultation with our Family Law Attorneys contact Elise Buie Family Law Group, PLLC.  

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