Should our conflict partners have to earn or deserve our good graces for us to show them generosity of spirit when they’re acting badly? Here’s a way to disagree better even when we think we’re handling the encounter well and they’re not.
Safeguarding the space between
When we try to talk out a problem with someone, and conversation hasn’t yielded the results we hoped, we may find ourselves withdrawing from them. But as Nobel Peace Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai reminds us, there’s often a better choice.
Recurring conflict doesn’t automatically signal that a personal or professional relationship is in trouble. Teams, couples, and families that experience conflict can develop a figurative “stress wood” that makes for resilient relationships.
Once we’ve sorted out our differences, is the conflict over? Or does it leave a residual experience that can drag us down again?
The fact that we disagree — even strongly — isn’t what damages personal or professional relationships. It’s how well we make use of practices that buffer our vital relationships from the detrimental effects of conflict. In other words, it’s how well we safeguard “the space between” through the way we disagree.
When we argue, and particularly when we argue with loved ones and colleagues — those with whom we are in ongoing relationship — the argument has three threads at its core. It doesn’t matter what we’re arguing about; those three threads are there. When we attend to those three threads, we set the stage for […]
Conflict spirals are patterns of friction or tension that worsen over time. Distancing spirals are a particularly insidious form of conflict spiral because they cause relationship damage while we think we’re doing nothing wrong at all.
Life looks different for most of us than it did a few weeks ago. The dramatic changes in the rhythm of our lives, the economic uncertainty, and the anxiety about health and safety are breeding grounds for stress and conflict. Here are a few things you can do to get ahead of conflict while working […]
Have better disagreements in your personal and professional relationships.
These principles are fundamental to my work with clients who are experiencing conflict or tension in important ongoing personal or professional relationships.