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BLOG - Handling conflict

25 Jun 2015

How good are you at handling conflict inside or outside of work?
Do you hope it will go away if you ignore the issue?

How much do you want someone else to change in order to resolve the conflict?
How do you feel when conflict arises?
What are your thoughts and behaviours?
Has a conflict issue miraculously disappeared when you ignored it?

What is Conflict?

Conflict is viewed as disruptive and thus needs to be controlled and changed so that it doesn’t create excessive emotional or physical stress

There are 4 levels of Conflict:


Conflict has a way of growing and taking on a life of its own as it escalates.
There are different levels within the levels! You can be mildly irritated or extremely irritated and we all have different tolerance levels to certain things. Something might really anger me, but you might feel totally different about it and hardly bothered at all and vice versa.

Thomas Killman explains that there are 5 Methods of Dealing with Conflict.
Which ones do you think you do more often?
Which one do you think is the best one to operate from?


It is good to analyse how you handle conflict and to think about ways to help yourself and the situation as a whole.

What could you do in order to tackle the issue and get it resolved?

When we are experiencing conflict it is very easy to say "If they just changed their viewpoint it would be fine" or "If they just changed their ways then the problem would go away" but we very rarely have a look in the mirror and get honest with ourselves. A great tool is Perceptual Positions (an NLP tool by Richard Bandler and John Grinder).

It is about different view points:
Your Shoes
Their Shoes
Fly on the Wall

So instead of blocking it out, pretending it will all go away if you ignore it (because it just gets bigger instead!) why not ask yourself these questions from the different view points:
You - What do I see when I look at the situation? What do I hear? How am I feeling? How am I behaving?, What do I believe about the situation? What is there for me to learn? How has my perception changed?

Now morph yourself into the person you are in conflict with, take on their mannerisms, just pretend to be them for a few minutes and ask those questions again but from their viewpoint and not yours.

Now be a fly on the wall and look at you and the person from that viewpoint and ask these questions from a 3rd person, observer (literally the fly on the wall) perspective:

How are they both feeling? How are they both behaving? What do they both believe about the situation? What is important to both of them? What is there for them both to learn?

Come back to you! What is there to learn?
How has your perception changed?

Think of a past event where if you thought about it, it could cause you to have your old problem/feeling?
Notice how it is different now?

Think about a future event, where if you thought about it, it could cause you to have your old problem/feeling?
Notice how it is different now?

We judge ourselves on what we intended, but others may judge us on the impact it had!! Think about the words you use and how the message will be understood by someone else.

Shelley Edwards Progress To Success