Imagine that we all committed to beating conflict in our workplaces, families and communities.
What would that look like?
Firstly the proposition needs some clarification.
When I say “beating conflict” I mean beating the seductive/destructive influences of this thing called conflict and how it leads us to act. I do not mean that we should strive for communities without disagreements, debates and really good conversations about the tough stuff. All of those things are like so many jewels. They are the prizes we ought to strive for.
What we need to overcome is the way that conflict leads us to go on the attack, defence or counter attack. We need to overcome the conflict fuelled actions of sulking, sabotage or politicisation that we see in our office, factories and schools. We need to break out of polarised factions throwing bombs, to stop blaming one another and learn new attitudes and behaviours, new ways of “Being in conflict” that will enable us to work together through the disagreements.
What would our manifesto look like? I think it would include the following
- Take responsibility
- Recognise your contribution to the conflict escalation
- Reject blame
- Reject victimhood
- Choose not to be defensive
- Be curious
I will drill down into these further over the next couple of weeks but let me know, what would you put on your Beating Conflict Manifesto?