Changing Your Direction in Conflict

Conflict Management Blog by Cinnie Noble

Another favourite quote of mine is by Lao Tzu:

“If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.”

Though this applies to so many things in life, when it comes to conflict I find it particularly pertinent to the trajectory we get on when we are in a dispute.

More specifically, we sometimes forget we are at choice when we are in conflict. That is, we can choose to calm ourselves, use words, tones and attitudes that are conciliatory, take a time out and reflect before speaking, regulate our emotions, and even walk away when it is the best course of action for the situation.

For this week’s Conflict Mastery Quest(ions) blog, consider a dispute you are currently involved in when answering this list of questions:

  • What is the situation about?
  • What is provoking for you? What makes that especially irritating?
  • What are the feelings you are experiencing about this situation (besides, or rather than, the words used above, i.e. provoking and irritating)?
  • How would you describe the escalation between you and the other person?
  • How might you be contributing to the escalation of things?
  • What direction would you say things are going? What direction do you prefer that things go between you?
  • What direction do you think the other person wants things to go?
  • What are all the choices you have about ways to change the current direction to one that is preferable?
  • What do you need to feel about yourself to change the direction? What do you need to feel about the other person to achieve the change in direction?
  • What else do you need to do, think, feel, etc. to effect the change in direction
  • What else occurs to you as you consider these questions?
  • What insights do you have?

 

                        author

Cinnie Noble

Cinnie Noble is a certified coach (PCC) and mediator and a former lawyer specializing in conflict management coaching. She is the author of two coaching books: Conflict Management Coaching: The CINERGY™ Model and Conflict Mastery: Questions to Guide You. MORE >

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