I bet when you’re in conflict, your first reaction is to think – “If only he/she would stop doing that (whatever it is) … things would be better.” I know I do that. It’s amazing how much that empowers the other person and takes all of the power away from you to change the situation.

In her book, The Conflict Pivot, author Tammy Lenski makes the case that conflict occurs when something inside you is threatened.

It seems a whole lot easier to blame the other person, but is that really effective? How many times in your experience has the other person actually changed his/her behavior for you? Well, maybe sometimes, but in the deepest conflicts that you have, probably not.

PrintSo … enter the ‘Conflict Hooks.’  These are the things that get you ‘hooked’ into a conflict – the things that YOU feel in the core of YOUR being.

Tammy has identified 6 hooks in her book:

  • Competence – The need to be recognized as capable, intelligent, skilled, or having expertise
  • Autonomy – The need to be acknowledged as independent and self-reliant, and have our boundaries respected
  • Fellowship – The need to be included and to be viewed as likable, cooperative, and worthy
  • Status – The need to be admired for tangible/intangible assets such as attractiveness, reputation, power, and material worth
  • Reliability – The need to be seen as trustworthy, dependable, and loyal
  • Integrity – The need for others to respect our dignity, honor, virtue, and good character

It took me a while to process these for myself. I practiced and tried to identify what I was feeling when a conflict arose. I looked inside myself and then, I named the feeling. Often Reliability and Integrity were my hooks!

Why is this so important?


I just love this idea. It’s not about them, it’s about YOU. This pivot gives you the tools to move the 3rd and final one.  Stay tuned for next week’s post “Away from the Past.”


P.S. For the 1st Conflict Pivot, please read  The Stuck Story

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