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<xTITLE>Open the Door to Peace instead of Conflict</xTITLE>

Open the Door to Peace instead of Conflict

by Lorraine Segal
July 2012

Conflict Remedy Blog by Lorraine Segal

Lorraine Segal

The most difficult conflicts in my life have generally come from trying to impose my will on reality, particularly when I’m trying to control other people. When I have expectations of how life should be, how others should communicate and behave, or how events should unfold, and then try to make it happen, I rarely get the result I want.

There is a powerful visualization in the book Hope For Today that I have found helpful for myself and my clients.

“When you want to control someone or something, visualize two doors. One is labeled old way/my will and the other door is labeled letting go/ the universe’s will. Then, imagine opening each door and seeing what will happen if you go down that path.“

By doing that before acting, we can find some detachment and a calmer place to respond rather than react. I also ask my clients a series of questions to help clarify what is behind the two doors.

When have you felt this way before/been in this situation before?
What did you do? (first door).
Did it work?
If it didn’t work:

What could you do instead that might have a better result? (second door).
How can you let go of the outcome?
When I do one on one coaching with someone who is in a challenging relationship, often a part of the work is helping them let go of believing they can make another person do and be what they want. Instead we look gently at their own contribution to the situation and how they can change their own communication and attitude.

I once heard someone frame this as an algebraic equation:

a (your behavior and attitude) + b ( the other person’s behavior and attitude) = c (outcome).

When “a” changes, so does “c”, the outcome, even if “b” stays the same. Miracles of healing can happen in any relationship, if just one of the people involved finds the courage and support to respond to conflicts differently.


Lorraine Segal, M.A. is a Conflict Management and Communication Consultant, Coach, and Trainer. Through her own business, Conflict Remedy, Ms. Segal works with corporations and non-profits as well as governmental entities and individuals to promote harmonious and productive workplaces. 

She is a consultant and trainer for County of Sonoma. And, at Sonoma State University, she is the curriculum designer and lead teacher for the new Conflict Management Certificate program. Ms. Segal was recently named one of the top 30 Conflict Resolution experts to follow on LinkedIn. She is also a contributing author to the forthcoming book, Stand Up, Speak Out Against Workplace Bullying.

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