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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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Preparing for that Dreaded Conversation

 

“By failing to prepare you are preparing to fail.”
Benjamin Franklin

Being spontaneous in many aspects of our lives can be fun and interesting. However, being spontaneous when it comes to difficult conversations – not so much. Preparing for our hard conversations takes time and energy and thought – all of which make those discussions more effective, productive and constructive. Preparation can even make them interesting and illuminating!

The thing is, our dread about a conversation can negatively impact our approach and keep us in a mindset that is counterproductive. So, what does it take to properly prepare and gather our courage for a challenging conversation when we feel full of dread, fear and distress? How do we gain the much-needed distance and confidence to effectively “be” in conflict and interact in ways that reflect our values.

Preparation takes different forms and this week’s Conflict Mastery Quest(ions) blog will hopefully help prepare you to be clear on your intentions about a conversation – what you want to have happen, how you want to communicate, and who you want to be. Try the following questions as a way of doing this, as you consider a conversation you are dreading.

  • What is the purpose for this conversation? What is most important about that purpose?
  • How might the other person describe their purpose? What is most important to the other person?
  • What do you dread most about this conversation? What might the other person dread?
  • What outcome do you want? What outcome would be acceptable, even if not exactly what you want?
  • How do you want to “be” in the conversation?
  • What tone of voice and body language do you intend to have?
  • What are the main messages you want to convey?
  • What message(s) do you want to be most prepared for that the other person conveys? How will you ensure you interact in the way you have described (as to how you want to “be”)?
  • What will it take for you to remove the dread from the conversation?
  • How else will you align how you want to interact, with the outcome for which you are aiming?
  • What else occurs to you as you consider these questions?
  • What insights do you have?

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

Posted in Conflict Coaching, Conflict Conversations, Conflict Management Coaching | Leave a comment

Connecting With Our Values

 

“It is not hard to make decisions when you know what your values are.”
Roy Disney

When Roy Disney (older brother of Walt Disney) made this statement, it was undoubtedly about the business world in which he and his brother thrived. It is heart-warming to consider – without really knowing – that their success was attributed to making decisions that align with their values (and that they were positive ones).

When it comes to conflict, it seems to me that one of the upsetting things for many of us is the dissonance we experience about ourselves. That is, our reactions and decisions about how to interact do not always accurately reflect our core values and beliefs about how we want to be in the world and treat others. We might, for instance, have a vision of ourselves as kind, caring or thoughtful, but communicate in ways that are not consistent with that.

How do you want to be and be perceived? Do you, for example, want to be and be seen as non-judgmental, tolerant or patient? Do you strive to be perceived as non-defensive, cool and calm? Do you choose to be empathetic and understanding? These characteristics and combinations of them and many other traits mirror a range of ways of being when in conflict, and when we act out of alignment with them, our way of communicating can cause and contribute to the dissension.

This week’s Conflict Mastery Quest(ions) blog invites you to consider a dispute in which you reacted in a way that wasn’t aligned with what you value about yourself.

  • What was the dispute about?
  • What did you say or do that was not aligned with one or more of your values?
  • Which value(s), more specifically, were you not upholding?
  • What makes that or those values one(s) you want others to acknowledge about you, too?
  • What happened that you lost your alignment with that or those values?
  • What impact did doing so have on the other person?
  • What impact did that have on you?
  • If you were to be in that interaction again, what would you choose to say or do differently – that would be more aligned with the value(s) you referred to?
  • What different outcome might have resulted?
  • What are three ways of keeping yourself aligned to your values when in conflict?
  • What else occurs to you as you consider these questions?
  • What insights do you have?

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

Posted in Conflict Coaching, Conflict Management Coaching, Values | 1 Comment

Conflict Resolutions for 2020!

Hello Dear People:

I’d like to take this opportunity to wish you the very best of health, happiness and peace for the coming year.

Here are my conflict resolutions for 2020. I have repeated many from last year because, well, I still haven’t got them quite right.

  1. This year I will celebrate our differences and remain mindful that we all have lots of room in our hearts to love more and to love deeply.
  2. This year I will cherish my family and my friends and colleagues even more and continue to tell them how much they mean to me.
  3. This year I will listen with more curiosity, with more empathy and with more love.
  4. This year I will approach conflicts with authenticity, humility and thoughtfulness – and remain true to myself.
  5. This year I will acknowledge and honour that others strive to be true to themselves, too.
  6. This year I will not judge.
  7. This year I will be kinder to myself and others.
  8. This year I will be grateful to those who teach me important lessons by, for instance, letting me know when I am not interacting with compassion and grace.
  9. This year I will do more to build peace – one person at a time.
  10. This year I will remember we are all in this together.

What are your conflict resolutions for this year?

Warmest regards to you and yours and may your 2020 be wonderful in every way!

#conflictcoaching
#conflictmanagementcoaching
#conflict
#conflictmanagement
#conflictresolution
#resolutions
#ADR

Posted in Conflict Coaching, Conflict Management Coaching, Resolutions | Leave a comment

I’m Sorry But…

Sometimes the most heartfelt and sincere apologies can be ruined with the word “but” after it. Or, with some qualification that gives with one hand and takes away with the other. For example: “I’m sorry I called you an idiot, but you were acting stupid; “I’m sorry if you think I was being unfair, but so were you”; “I apologize if you didn’t think I was listening, but I’ve heard it all before!”

For some reason it’s a common approach – the attempt to reconcile matters by saying things that contradict the intent of doing so, such as by putting in a “but” between statements. Why can’t we just leave our “buts” out of it and make the apology meaningful? Is it about needing to be right; or to have the last word; or to make the other person wrong; or to justify bad behaviour? Or, is it unfinished venting? Or?

For this week’s Conflict Mastery Quest(ions) blog and questions below, I suggest you consider a time the other person turned an apology into a statement of what they didn’t like about you or what you did, and another time when you did that sort of thing.

  • What did the other person say that started as an apology and ended up with blame of some sort?
  • What was the impact on you of the above?
  • For what did you hear the person blaming you that was new to the interaction between you?
  • What was a continuation of what had already been said?
  • What might have been unfinished for the other person that they put a “but” into their apology?
  • What else might be the reason?
  • If you consider a time you apologized to someone with whom you were in a conflict and added a “but”, what did you say?
  • What remained unresolved for you that you did so? For what other reason did you?
  • What were you actually sorry for? For what were you not sorry?
  • What do you think the ingredients are of a sincere apology?
  • What else occurs to you as you consider these questions?
  • What insights do you have?

#conflictcoaching
#conflictmanagementcoaching
#conflict
#conflictmanagement
#conflictresolution
#questions
#apologizing
#ADR

Posted in Apologizing, Conflict Coaching, Conflict Management Coaching | Leave a comment

Are You Really Listening?

“Are you really listening…or are you just waiting for your turn to talk?” R. Montgomery

Listening is likely the most needed skill when in conflict. However, as this quote indicates, it is more often that we are not really hearing what the other person is saying – just waiting to speak. Or, we interrupt to get our point across sooner than later. In my experience as a conflict specialist, I commonly hear from coaching clients or observe in mediations a strong tendency to shut down the other person by not listening and really hearing. Or, we selectively choose what we hear and respond to that.

When in the midst of conflict, it’s not easy to just listen, to not filter the conversation the way we think or feel it is going, to stay calm, and to really hear what the other person is saying. It’s not easy to ask questions, to clarify, or to check out assumptions. It’s not easy to hear things that hurt and offend. It’s not easy to make sure we know what the other person is conveying that reflects what is important to them and challenges what is important to us. It’s not easy to hold off expressing our views and “fighting” back.

Here are some Conflict Mastery Quest(ions) to consider about a dispute you are or were recently in and check out what you heard:

  • What is or was the dispute about?
  • What did you have most trouble hearing that the other person said?
  • What did you have most trouble understanding about what they said?
  • What did the other person say that hurt you most?
  • What assumptions are you making about the other person’s intent for saying the things that hurt you?
  • What do you think the other person’s perception is of the dispute?
  • What about their perception is understandable? What isn’t?
  • What important point that you made do you think the other person didn’t hear? Why do you think that is the case?
  • What assumptions is the other person making about you because you don’t think they heard you?
  • What might help you both listen and hear each other?
  • What else occurs to you as you consider these questions?
  • What insights do you have?

#conflictcoaching
#conflictmanagementcoaching
#conflict
#conflictmanagement
#conflictresolution
#questions
#listening
#ADR

Posted in Conflict Coaching, Conflict Management Coaching, Listening | Leave a comment