Tidings of conflict and joy: Some ways to keep focus on family, handle holiday conflicts

MILWAUKEE -- 'Tis the season for gathering around the table with family and talking -- and it's not uncommon for uncomfortable topics to come up. Moira Kelly, an experienced mediator, joins Real Milwaukee to tips on how to handle holiday conflicts.

Moira Kelly is an experienced mediator and negotiator who owns Kelly Consulting LLC, a business specializing in workplace dispute resolution. She is also on the faculty for Cardinal Stritch University's Institute for Conflict Studies.

Some advice for resolving conflict at the holidays:

• It's a dinner table, not a boxing ring. (Find commonality, not difference.)
• You don`t have to take the bait. (Try kindness when someone says or does something hurtful.)
• Impact doesn`t always equal intent. (Sometimes people say things they don`t mean.)
• Look for options that work. (If you know there will be difficulties, how about coming over just for dessert? Or going out for dinner because most people behave better in public?)