The proverbial elephant that appears in the room when we are in conflict isn’t always as big as an elephant. It may be more like a mouse. However, a mouse is no less problematic when it scurries around and inserts itself in small places, like the crevices of our hearts and brains.
Elephants and mice represent the unspoken hurts or words. They are what is going on between disputing people that isn’t being said. They are the lingering doubts and the niggling feelings. They are…Continue
Added by Cinnie Noble on January 30, 2012 at 5:00am — No Comments
What happens to many of us in the heat of an argument, is that we don’t consider the aftermath. One of the consequences of our actions and words or those of the other person is that we cannot easily undo what hurt we experience or caused. Emotions can linger and the pieces that are not reconciled, end up being the remnants in which we clothe our next dispute.
Thinking before we speak is sage advice that is likely said more than it is practiced. If more of us caught ourselves…Continue
Added by Cinnie Noble on January 26, 2012 at 5:00am — No Comments
The expression thinking ‘outside of the box’ typically relates to being creative about ideas – like stepping outside of enclosed lines that constrain thinking. When the concept comes up in the conflict management context, it occurs when people in dispute are contemplating the options available to them regarding their opposing views. The ‘out of the box’ notion is meant to help disputants get away from steadfastly held positions and consider what other solutions may be mutually…Continue
It often happens that the more positional we are about an issue in dispute, the more stuck we are about discussing the matter – much less reconciling matters. Our ability to negotiate, discuss and make amends deteriorates at these times and the other person may dig in his or her shoes in response to us. Or, he or she may have been the one to take a stand in the first place and our reaction contributes to the discord.
We get stuck for many reasons, depending on things like what the…Continue
Added by Cinnie Noble on January 19, 2012 at 5:00am — No Comments
Many of us think we have to win disagreements – that we have to be and be seen as right and that the other person is wrong and has to concede to our viewpoint. The competitive underpinnings to this approach set up a win-lose scenario and this isn’t usually an optimum way for reconciling conflict differences.
In some cases, agreeing to disagree may be a good outcome. However, for some of us that doesn’t quite work. The reality is, our view of rightness does not have to…Continue
Added by Cinnie Noble on January 16, 2012 at 5:00am — No Comments
When other people provoke us, our perceptions of what is happening sometimes tends to be distorted. Typically, the more egregious the exchange and the angrier we become, the more negative our perspectives are. It seems that once we are irritated by another person and especially if our feelings grow with repeated interactions, it is challenging to disabuse ourselves of the assumptions about the other person and his or her motives. What also happens in many cases is that we get stuck in our…Continue
Added by Cinnie Noble on January 12, 2012 at 5:00am — No Comments
It is strange to imagine what we look like when we are in conflict. We don’t get to be a spectator and observe ourselves, though on reflection we may be able to describe our demeanour, the look on our face, or how we acted at these times. Thinking about all this inspired some questions for this week’s blog. I began thinking that an interesting way of examining how we engage in conflict is to consider if we are able to ‘see’ ourselves through someone else’s eyes. This is not only how we look…Continue
Added by Cinnie Noble on January 9, 2012 at 5:00am — No Comments
Conflict mastery is not only about engaging effectively in a conflict once it has evolved. It also entails picking up ‘vibrations’ that may signal dissension with or from another person and addressing the dynamic at the time. It is a matter of being proactive and preventing unnecessary conflict or facilitating positive conflict. Picking up conflict ‘vibes’ may not result in a specific discussion with the other person. It may be a matter of beginning to notice things that seem to be igniting…Continue
Added by Cinnie Noble on January 5, 2012 at 7:30am — No Comments