Not all of us know when, whether or how to be proactive and raise a conflictual issue with a person with whom we have an inner conflict. It’s a tough call at times and it takes some self-reflection to consider the pros and cons of doing so. There may in fact be occasions when we determine that it isn’t appropriate to raise a matter. On the other hand, if we are reluctant because we tend to avoid conflict it is important to consider that and what our objectives are for the situation, the relationship and ourselves. It could be that there will be a detrimental outcome by not facing ourselves and the other person. Under these circumstances it often happens that the inner conflict will continue to bother us and effect the relationship.

Weighing the risks and opportunities of our choices about whether to raise a conflict issue helps to enlighten our motivation and the outcomes we want. To answer the questions about this week’s blog, please consider a matter that you are not sure about raising:

  • What is your ambivalence about raising the issue?
  • What does your ambivalence say about what is important to you about the issues? About the relationship?
  • What fears may you have?
  • What else are you experiencing about this situation?
  • How important is the relationship on a scale of 1-5, 5 being ‘extremely important’? How important are the issues in dispute on the same scale?
  • If you don’t raise the issues, what then?
  • What is the best outcome if you do?
  • In what ways do the opportunities outweigh the risks of raising the issue – or vice versa?
  • What best outcome for you may be the best outcome for the other person too?
  • How do your answers to the above questions have an impact on how you are going to proceed?

What other ConflictMastery™ Quest(ions) may you add?

Originally posted at

Views: 81

Comment by John C. Turley on May 23, 2012 at 1:14pm

I have had some interpersonal issues with 2 different co-mediators.  We are like oil and water when we work together.  The important point is not to display any problems in front of the clients.  I rectified both problems by speaking with the Executive Director.  Also, I requested that we not be assigned together on future assignments.

Comment by Cinnie Noble on May 25, 2012 at 6:25am

Thank you for your comment John. There are certainly times that an approach such as you describe helps us to find our way through a conflict rather than addressing it in direct ways.


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