Some conflictual interactions bring out parts of us we don’t really like or, even recognize at times! These parts may reflect what we learned about ways to manage conflict from observing a parent, sibling, partner or someone else. Or, they are impulsive, knee-jerk reactions we cannot seem to control. We have come to engage in these actions, mannerisms, words, etc. as habits.
We don’t have a rulebook on best practices when it comes to managing each and every conflict. As a consequence, most of us lack confidence and feel unsure about how to interact. However, we might – at some point – realize the ways we have adopted are not always ones we really admire about ourselves. We face the fact that we do not have all the skills we need to be who we want to be when in conflict.
This week’s Conflict Mastery Quest(ions) blog invites you to consider who you prefer to be when in conflict. It starts by asking you to bring to mind a dispute in which you are aware you copied someone else’s way of being in conflict that doesn’t really reflect how you want to interact.
- What was the conflict about?
- How did you interact that you don’t like?
- Who were you modelling, i.e. from whose behaviour did you learn that way of interacting, if you did?
- What do you admire about that way of being?
- What don’t you admire about it?
- How would you have preferred to “be” that would more likely and closely reflect who you are or want to be when in conflict?
- What different outcome might result if you interacted as the person you prefer to be?
- How would you want to be described by friends, family members or colleagues who look up to you as their role model at these times?
- What would make you feel most worthy of their praise?
- Going forward, how might you be sure to interact the way you prefer to be when encountering conflict?
- What else occurs to you as you consider these questions?
- What insights do you have?