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ConflictMastery Quest(ions) Blog

The CINERGY® Conflict Management Coaching Blog –ConflictMastery™ Quest(ions) – is for anyone who finds self-reflective questions helpful for examining and strengthening your conflict intelligence. It is also for coaches, mediators, HR professionals, ombudsmen, leaders, lawyers, psychologists, counsellors and others who also use self-reflective questions as tools for helping your clients in these ways.

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Necessary Conflict

Like it or not, many interpersonal conflicts are necessary for our relationships to thrive. They’re important for being authentically who we are and not continually yielding to someone else’s needs over our own or twisting ourselves into something we aren’t to please others. Our health and well-being (when it comes to conflict) and the health and well-being of our relationship depend on being able to own and stand up for what is important to us and not give over our values and needs. They depend, too, on being open to the other person’s needs.

Yes, we can choose not to engage in conflict at all times. Not all disputes are necessary after all. What is necessary though is that we accept conflict is normal and inevitable and that they provide an opportunity to actually improve our relationships. After all, knowing and sharing what’s important to one another is an important part of healthy relationships. It’s important ultimately that we know when and why to choose standing up as opposed to standing down – knowing when the latter is the healthier route to take.

In this week’s Conflict Mastery Quest(ions) blog, you are invited to bring to mind an interpersonal conflict you are wondering about, i.e. whether to raise the issue(s) with the other person or not.

  • What is the conflict about?
  • If you don’t raise the issue(s) with the other person, then what?
  • What are you afraid of if you do raise the issue(s) with the other person?
  • What do you need from the other person that you are not getting?
  • How are you not being true to yourself?
  • How is not raising the issue(s) affecting your health and well-being?
  • How is not raising the issue(s) affecting the relationship?
  • What does the other person not know about you and your feelings about this situation that likely keeps them from really knowing you and what’s important to you?
  • If you were to be honest with the other person, what would that message sound like that would be authentically who you are?
  • What do you risk by expressing that message? How real is that risk (your answer to the last question)?
  • What’s most important to you right now as you ponder these questions?
  • What else occurs to you as you consider these questions?
  • What insights do you have?

#conflictcoaching
#conflictmanagementcoaching
#conflict
#conflictmanagement
#conflictresolution
#questions

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Feeling Crummy About a Conflict

Before, during or after an interpersonal conflict, and sometimes in all these time periods, we feel crummy about the circumstances, ourselves and the other person. It’s an awful feeling – miserable, unsettling and upsetting, or as The Free Dictionary says of feeling crummy – “of little value, inferior, contemptible, unwell, depressed.”

Not all these words may apply to how you feel about a conflict you were or are in at this time. But for today’s Conflict Mastery Quest(ions) blog consider one about which you would say you are feeling some sort of crummy.

  • What’s the situation you have in mind?
  • What do you feel crummy about?
  • How would you define feeling crummy in this circumstance?
  • What do you know about how the other person feels?
  • What sort of theme, if any, is there about what feels crummy to you in this situation compared to other conflicts?
  • What do you need at these times that doesn’t seem to be forthcoming?
  • What might get rid of feelings of crumminess – something you could do differently?
  • What keeps you from doing that now (your answer to the above question)?
  • What do you want to feel instead of crummy?
  • What sorts of things may you say or do to prevent crumminess for you? For the other person?
  • What else occurs to you as you consider these questions?
  • What insights do you have?

#conflictcoaching
#conflictmanagementcoaching
#conflict
#conflictmanagement
#conflictresolution
#questions

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Second-Guessing Ourselves When In Conflict

I don’t know about you – but there are many times I “second-guess” what I said or did in some conflict situations. Or, I might “second-guess” what bothered me in the first place.

The term second-guess has various definitions and for the purpose of this week’s Conflict Mastery Quest(ions) blog I’ll refer to Cambridge Dictionary’s meaning. That definition suggests second-guessing as the act of criticizing someone’s actions or event after it has happened. Considering this definition and the context then, second-guessing in conflict is the act of criticizing ourselves or the other person about the thinking, deeds, words, ways of interacting and so on relating to a fractious interaction. On this basis, here are some questions to consider about a situation in which you are second-guessing your part or the other person’s.

  • What did you do or say that you are now second-guessing?
  • About what specifically are you criticizing yourself? Why are you particularly critical of that?
  • What motivated your actions, words, etc. that you are criticizing?
  • What does your motivation reflect about what you needed at the time?
  • What did you want that you weren’t getting?
  • What first guess(es) might have been better for you? What first guess(es) might have been better for the other person?
  • What different outcome might there be if you had chosen the first guess you referred to in the previous question?
  • What are you second-guessing about the other person’s words, actions, etc.?
  • What positive intent might the person have had that you didn’t consider at the time?
  • What might keep you from second-guessing the next time you are faced with a similar situation?
  • What else occurs to you as you consider these questions?
  • What insights do you have?

#conflictcoaching
#conflictmanagementcoaching
#conflict
#conflictmanagement
#conflictresolution

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Questioning Ourselves in Conflict

It’s a common phenomenon that we question ourselves when we are in conflict. For me, the unknown hovers and I have lots of questions. For instance: I question if the issue is worth fighting for; I wonder why a certain act or look provokes me; I think about what the root of my upset is; I consider whether to just try to let “it” go; or I ponder the pros and cons of raising the matter.

It seems these and other questions come up for me at a conscious and subconscious level when I find my emotions escalating about something another person says or does, or it might be an attitude, manner or way of interacting that provokes a reaction in me. I don’t always answer the questions that come to mind, but this week’s Conflict Mastery Quest(ions) blog invites you to contemplate the questions AND the answers. I suggest you start by bringing to mind a conflict situation that is giving you unsettling feelings – anger, upset, hurt, etc.

  • How might you describe the emotions you are experiencing about this situation?
  • What are the questions you are asking yourself about the conflict? Yourself? The other person?
  • Which one of your questions (above) feels most compelling to answer?
  • Which one are you most afraid of answering?
  • Why do you fear those particular ones (your answer to the previous question)?
  • What question(s) need to be answered that you are not asking yourself?
  • What do you not know about yourself in the situation? About the other person?
  • What doesn’t the other person know about you?
  • What question(s) would you like to ask the other person?
  • What answer(s) might the other person give that would help you most?
  • What else occurs to you as you consider these questions?
  • What insights do you have?

#conflictcoaching
#conflictmanagementcoaching
#conflict
#conflictmanagement
#conflictresolution

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Self-Blame in Conflict

It happens for many of us that we take on the whole responsibility of our interpersonal conflicts – to our detriment. Owning our part is healthy and a reflection of conflict mastery. However, there is a good chance we both contributed and when we engage in self-blame, it is important to explore that and why. This week’s Conflict Mastery Quest(ions) blog aims to do so.

There are many reasons we might use self-blame. Low self-esteem, bad behavior that we regret and feel guilty about, feeling bullied to believe we are totally responsible, wanting to excuse the other person for any number of reasons, and so on.

To answer this week’s questions, it is suggested that you bring to mind an interpersonal dispute in which you are primarily blaming yourself for what occurred.

  • What was/is the dispute about?
  • For what are you blaming yourself?
  • For what reasons are you blaming yourself?
  • For what are you not blaming the other person that she or he said or did which contributed to the dissension?
  • What are you gaining from blaming yourself? What are you losing by self-blaming?
  • What need is satisfying your self-blame?
  • If you let go of the self-blame, how would you perceive the dispute differently? How might you perceive the other person differently?
  • If you perceived that both of you contributed to the dispute, what would be different about how you feel now about yourself? About the other person?
  • If it is not a matter of blame at all, but rather a sign of two people struggling to assert what’s important to them, what would you say is important to you in this dispute? What’s important to the other person?
  • What else occurs to you as you consider these questions?
  • What insights do you have?

#conflictcoaching
#conflictmanagementcoaching

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