"Peace is not the absence of conflict. Peace is the ability to cope with conflict." Gandhi
Facing conflict in your business? Your workplace? Want to understand how to handle conflict better? Facing conflict across cultures?
We all want to resolve conflict. And, many times, conflict can be generative - it can move us forward positively, if we manage it right.
I can help:
- Conflict Coaching;
- Integrated Conflict Management Systems;
- Cross-Cultural Conflict.
Conflict is almost always present in our lives - in our societies, at work, at home. For most people, just thinking about the conflicts that surround us is stressful, even more so when we approach them.
Usually we think of conflict as something that should be resolved. But I suggest that conflict can be generative, productive. It can lead to breakthroughs in our lives and in our work.
Research shows that there are "five general strategies people use to approach conflict".(1) These strategies can be viewed on two axes with two variables - concern for our own interests, and concern for the interests of others.
In my experience, the most common approach we take is avoidance: this approach typically comes from low concern for others, and low concern for our own interests. I think that avoidance is innate for most of us, the product of an evolutionary process of protection from violence: conflict is (potentially) dangerous. But, as most of us have learned, avoidance doesn't usually resolve the conflict in any substantial way. But, at least in the short term, it's safe.
When we accommodate, we put the interests of others ahead of our own. Competition involves asserting our own interests ahead of others'. And compromise involves a striving to balance interests on both sides.
When I work with clients, my approach centers on collaboration. This is when we seek to address both sets of interests - ours, and our counterpart's. And this is where the breakthroughs come.
How do we move from avoidance to collaboration? Contact me to explore your options!
(1) Bernard Mayer, The Dynamics of Conflict (Jossey Bass, 2012).