I threw out an idea for the Beating Conflict Manifesto recently.
This – taking responsibility - was the first point on it.
When dealing with conflict at home or conflict in the workplace, commit to taking responsibility for your actions.
This has a couple of elements to it.
We absolve responsibility when we say things like
- I had no alternatives left
- What else could I do?
- It’s not my fault
- If they had not done x,y z then I would not have to do this…
- I have been forced into this situation
Really. Stop doing that.
Remember the only person in a conflict that you can directly impact and change is yourself, so let’s concentrate on getting that straight first.
When we take back responsibility then something wonderful happens. We grant ourselves control and authority over the situation. As long as we are subscribing our actions to the conduct of others then we are enslaving ourselves to them. I am not sure that is what we want to be doing, especially if we are in disagreement with them in the first place. We jerk and twitch depending upon which string they pull or button they press.
We surrender our own agency, our ability to do anything about the situation for ourselves.
When we take back responsibility then we take back the controls over our own actions and free ourselves to make decisions that will serve us better rather than simply fuel the conflict led escalation.