facing conflict

Someone has hurt, annoyed, spoke bad, or came against you and it is eating at you. Why is it bothering you so much? One reason could be simply, because it stands in the way of having what you want, peace.   Most days we do have peace, but when we come across that one person who disrupts it well, we have conflict.

Now what? Should we ignore it? Should we say something? What should we say? When should we say it?These are the questions that race though our head in a matter of seconds, leaving us with a big fat blank stare and normally running the other way.  (image from thistimeimeanit.com)

Stay with me here as I try to set the stage for facing conflict successfully. In the world of negotiation Fisher and Ury in their book, getting to yes (1981) focuses on the distinction between position and interests.  In its simplest terms, positions chiefly are what we want and interests focus on why. To get our mind around position and interests is difficult in the heat of conflict, but it is so important to help us to focus on what is important for finding resolution.

What directs our thinking is what we hold to be right in our minds, maybe that is not a great way to say it so let me try again…

Our values, morals, and stuff we live for is what shapes the way we deal with things. Some value long lasting relationships, some value always being right, whatever it is that will ultimately drive how we deal with conflict.

If we combine getting a grasp on positions and interests weighing it against our values it should become clear how we should deal with very uncomfortable and seemingly impossible situations.  It is impossible to go against our own grain, for example,

Suppose Jane relishes bringing glory to God and not allowing Satan a victory point in any of her relationships, she will work very hard to understand not only her own interests but also the interests of the other person. Jane will raise her goal, of having God “win” in every aspect of her relationships, over her own selfish ambitions because she holds her goal as an unwavering value. (we should name that her main position)

We can apply this example to any area of our lives, personal and professional, the variables are endless. What we do need to get a hold of are our values before conflict occurs so that we are more prepared to face them.

Knowing what our positions (the want/value) and interests (the why) can help us to set fear aside when facing our conflicts. Does it make it any easier, not always, but it will help us to stay focused and often extract escalating emotions when talking with the other person.

Of course it helps to talk it out with a friend or a COACH, who can help you get clear in order to face the toughest of situations. With that being said, give me a call or refer me out to a friend. (that is the way I make my living..)

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