“It is not hard to make decisions when you know what your values are.”
When Roy Disney (older brother of Walt Disney) made this statement, it was undoubtedly about the business world in which he and his brother thrived. It is heart-warming to consider – without really knowing – that their success was attributed to making decisions that align with their values (and that they were positive ones).
When it comes to conflict, it seems to me that one of the upsetting things for many of us is the dissonance we experience about ourselves. That is, our reactions and decisions about how to interact do not always accurately reflect our core values and beliefs about how we want to be in the world and treat others. We might, for instance, have a vision of ourselves as kind, caring or thoughtful, but communicate in ways that are not consistent with that.
How do you want to be and be perceived? Do you, for example, want to be and be seen as non-judgmental, tolerant or patient? Do you strive to be perceived as non-defensive, cool and calm? Do you choose to be empathetic and understanding? These characteristics and combinations of them and many other traits mirror a range of ways of being when in conflict, and when we act out of alignment with them, our way of communicating can cause and contribute to the dissension.
This week’s Conflict Mastery Quest(ions) blog invites you to consider a dispute in which you reacted in a way that wasn’t aligned with what you value about yourself.
- What was the dispute about?
- What did you say or do that was not aligned with one or more of your values?
- Which value(s), more specifically, were you not upholding?
- What makes that or those values one(s) you want others to acknowledge about you, too?
- What happened that you lost your alignment with that or those values?
- What impact did doing so have on the other person?
- What impact did that have on you?
- If you were to be in that interaction again, what would you choose to say or do differently – that would be more aligned with the value(s) you referred to?
- What different outcome might have resulted?
- What are three ways of keeping yourself aligned to your values when in conflict?
- What else occurs to you as you consider these questions?
- What insights do you have?