HOW TO END CONFLICT WITH A SHIFT MOVE
Among the questions I am asked most frequently are these:
How can I deal with conflict?
How can I be more socially intelligent and navigate the conflicts that arise in relationships?
We’ve all been involved in and created conflict. We waste a lot of time and energy in conflict. And we know that conflict is a connection and productivity killer.
Even though we know this, we continue to mire ourselves in conflict, especially in the workplace.
A FEW ALTERNATIVES TO CONFLICT
Instead of conflict, here is what is possible:
You could transform workplace conflict into creative fuel for new, innovative products and services that make you stand out in the marketplace.
You could harness the energy of your organization to create exponential, rapid results that profoundly impact the bottom line.
You could easily incorporate interpersonal skills at all levels to create a culture of connection and collaboration.
ARE YOU READY AND WILLING TO END CONFLICT?
Before you continue reading, take a breath and ask yourself, “Am I ready and willing to end conflict with one simple shift?” If your answer is yes, keep reading...
Navigating conflict requires a shift in the context of our thinking and action, a shift into Presence and Connection.
When we are present, our primary goal is to stay connected to ourselves and others. Once we’ve shifted, curiosity and creativity can replace being defensive and deadlocked.
That’s right – to shift from conflict is to 1) notice that you are keeping the conflict going and 2) consciously choose to drop your current agenda and make your connection to yourself and others the primary goal.
THIS CONTEXT SHIFT IS SIMPLE – BUT HUGE
You are probably thinking: “But I KNOW I am right...” or “We have to do it this way or our team won’t get results and look good…” or “If we don’t do it this way, then my performance review will suffer...”
Some of these points may actually be true, but if we can’t get along with others, these points become irrelevant. When we’re mired in conflict, NO ONE is succeeding, situations remain deadlocked, and there’s no forward progress. When we’re in conflict, we are wasting time, energy, and productivity.
Business brings us together in relationship; therefore, we have to drop our agenda and make being connected to others our primary goal and create a “win-for-all” situation.
Again, this is a HUGE shift in context. It may seem that you will never get what you want. That is a myth.
In my years of experience, I have found that by staying connected with others, we accomplish way more than we imagined – AND working alongside others is way more satisfying.
IF YOU’RE READY AND WILLING TO END CONFLICT, HERE ARE YOUR SHIFT MOVES
Breathe and move. Frozen and contracted postures invite patterns and conflict. Stand up, move around, and take some deep breaths. Invite others to do the same.
Get curious. You can ask, “I wonder how I am keeping this conflict going?” By asking this question, you invite everyone in the room to consider their part.
Choose connection with the other person or persons, and say, “I notice we are in conflict, and the most important thing to me is that we stay connected. How can I connect here?”
Be constantly learning. Ask yourself, “What’s here for me to learn about myself in this conflict?”
Tap into your emotions for wisdom. Our emotions are a huge source of wisdom for us, and to deny this wisdom is to contract and become tense – an invitation to conflict. Let your emotions flow and invite others to let their emotions flow. Ask yourself, “How can my feelings inform me right now?”
Create a win for all situations. Lead the moment by asking, “How can we all get what we want or prioritize for what’s in the best interest of our clients?”
Appreciate something or someone in the moment. To appreciate something in the moment is a powerful conflict diffuser. You can appreciate yourself or your colleagues for staying in the situation during the conflict, or you can appreciate what is going well. Ask yourself, “How can I appreciate this person right now?”
Seek out the innovative idea that no one has thought of, rather than sticking to “this is the way.” Ask yourself and others, “What are the new possibilities here?”
Be Compassionate! Most conflict is caused by behavioral patterns that WE ALL HAVE. Ask yourself, “How can I show more compassion in this moment?”
Consciously choose to harness creative life-force energy. Lead a 90-second brainstorming session about the issue at hand. Ask yourself and others, “What can we create from here?”
YOUR INVITATION TO CHOOSE CONNECTION OVER CONFLICT
I am inviting you to really step up your game here and consciously choose connection OVER conflict. Start shifting to connection and creativity, and then let us know what you discover.
If this lights you up, I offer many more consciousness practices in my book Evolution Revolution: Conscious Leadership for an Information Age.
This article was originally published on June 2, 2016, and has been updated