5 Insights for Transforming Conflicts
From the beginning of time, we humans have lived, loved, worked, and died with conflict. And, believe it or not, that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. While many people would be thrilled to never have another conflict with anyone every again, it is an illusion to believe it is even a remote possibility.
Conflict is a symptom, not a disease. In fact, conflict is a like a red flag or a signal that something and someone needs our attention. When it happens, it is telling us that we have some choices to make about one or more relationships. In fact, highly functional teams must have conflicts arise and address them well in order to remain highly functional. The question is not will you have them; the question is: HOW will you, your work team, your family – address your inevitable conflicts?
In my leadership classes and coaching practice, I use this working definition: Conflict is a normal part of human interaction that arises when two or more people have opposing needs, wants, and/or expectations – real or perceived.
We may choose different methods and pathways in responding to and dealing with our conflicts. For instance, we may choose…the dark road of denial, or the path of least resistance, perhaps a detour to avoidance, or hopping on the bullet train to confrontation, maybe taking a shortcut to a quick solution, or if we really want a new perspective, an Airbus to transformation. You see the Airbus flies above the fray, allowing us to see the bigger picture and gain new perspective from a higher plane (no pun intended!).
All of these options may seem advantageous to us at any given moment, depending on our motivation/goals/personal style. Only ONE, the ‘Airbus’ metaphor, has few, if any, disadvantages. Let me explain why I say this…
I recently spent 40 jam packed hours in a course led by Louise Phipps Senft, a master of Transformational Conflict and Mediation – CEO, attorney, teacher, coach, and the amazing energy force behind her company, Baltimore Mediation. Last week, Louise was my guest on my June 28th, 2015 AskRoxi radio program and she shared how very different her approach to conflict is from what most of us have been taught and what we have practiced.
With full credit to Louise and her team, I offer you 5 of my “take-aways” about CONFLICT TRANSFORMATION that I believe can help you board your own ‘Airbus’ next time you encounter a conflict yourself – or one you are trying to help shift for other people.
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Guest blog written by Roxi Bahar Hewertson.