Intersection of Conflict


We can learn a lot about a person by their response to disagreement. It’s tough to remain objective. We’re all different and not equally equipped, willing or able. How we respond determines opportunity for inclusion or isolation, apathy or innovation, for collaboration or debate.

To disagree means to have or express a different opinion. Different exists. It doesn’t have to, but it frequently evolves into conflict. Conflict is bursting with possibilities. . . all dependent on how we respond. Do we dig our heels in or shift and explore?

We all have preferred behaviors that have become patterns. They repeat, even if they create more problems. These habits seem to pop up “automatically”.  If your patterns derail you, your team, your leadership or relationships, it’s time to Get Your SHIFT Together and create a different habit. Change the habit and you change the story, the experience and your opportunity.

“Conflict is the place where character and plot intersect.” ~Nancy Kress

Today’s tip: Put the Armor Down, Create a New Habit

  • Curiosity with Self Reflection:
    • Is talking helpful? Who is listening?
    • Is this urgent or irritating or just inconvenient?
    • What questions would invite dialogue instead of debate?
    • How can I help open the conversation?
    • Who will be wrong? Am I willing to be as wrong as I want them to be?
    • Am I being defensive? What am I defending? Is this something I’ve been defending? Is this my blind spot?
  • Open Intentional Space:
    • Create common ground with space for yourself and others
    • Demonstrate and express empathy, curiosity and willingness to connect
    • Listen, restate and appreciate
    • Stop the mental rehearsal. Listen without analyzing
  • Plan and Prepare:
    • Decide one habit you want to change. One thing you can do differently to strengthen your relationships during disagreement.
    • Write it down. Post your new habit so you see it daily
    • Practice and review your progress.
    • Celebrate your wins, challenges and discoveries.

Welcome different and new perspectives instead of debating the obvious.  We are different. Wouldn’t it be great if differences and disagreement became invitations to live and work together skillfully? Are you willing to navigate the intersection of conflict?


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