Throughout my HR career, I would mediate between 2 opposing parties where disagreement had escalated into conflict. As a therapist, helping clients deal with relationship problems is an area that I am frequently involved in.
Sometimes, common ground can easily be established but often, the human traits of anger, frustration, stubbornness, mistrust, judgement, defensiveness have intensified to the extent that an impasse has been reached to the detriment of both individuals and those directly and indirectly affected by the fallout.
On a personal level this closing-in around themselves only serves to increase their stress and anxiety levels. Professionally, it can damage their ability to concentrate and be effective. In obvious ways, the ripples of the conflict can thus adversely affect other members of their team and the organisation as a whole, or if the conflict occurs between family members or friends, then its ill-effects can be felt within the wider family or friendship circle.
When one of my client asks for help in dealing with relationship issues - whether at work or at home - a key part of my approach is to examine with them the human element of conflict. I also take this approach in the Workplace Resilience training that I provide to business leaders, managers and employee groups.
Why? Because in pointing to our humanness, common ground and ultimately the resolution of conflict - no matter how opposing both sides' perspectives can be - can always be found:
By understanding how our individual human experience of life is constructed, a new perspective of the other person's viewpoint can be appreciated - even if it can never be agreed with. In pointing to this understanding, my client and I will usually reflect on the following facts applying to every single one of us in our life as human being:
- Every one of us is creating our own experience of any situation through the thoughts and accompanying feelings we have in any moment.
- We see our experience as real and fixed - and therefore we must be "right" right? But it is only ever a made-up interpretation created from thought in any moment
- Our version of reality can look very different from anyone else's and can look very different to us in any given moment because thoughts and feelings are ever-changing.
This powerful understanding that we are all experiencing life from the same basis creates a space for deeper awareness. From this space I have seen compassion, respect and consideration arise for the other person which has the power to cut through the emotional gridlock of hurt, mistrust or anxiety.
Even when only one person out of the two has this insight, a softening on their side towards the other party can lead to a softening of relations between both people which ultimately facilitate both being able to let go and move on.
Are you struggling with conflict in your life or at work?
Contact me today for a FREE consultation to discuss your needs and to find out how I can help you resolve your relationship problems and flourish in other important relationships going forward
CALL 07876 795871