I have had some really interesting conversations this week about the Transforming Conflict course I am teaching this week and again in March.
A big part of the emphasis on the course is how easily we can get into blaming others and the resentment that fosters, poisoning our relationships and creating many forms of disconnection and even retaliation. Then we are in the realm of an eye for an eye – regardless of what or who reacted first.
We can only ever change ourselves, and how we are – how we behave as unique individuals – matters. I hear lots of different people with great influence talking about others, how they respond, how they behave – that it should be different in some way. The thing is, when we are in that position – that judgement or omnipotence – we are not necessarily aligned with reality. We are not aligned with people as they actually are. We may want them to be different or behave differently but that is not what is actually happening. So rather than working towards a common solution, we are spending large amounts of time avoiding, blaming, colluding and complaining.
You see, resolving conflicts, disagreements starts with YOU. You reap what you sow, especially in a leadership role. And not just as a leader in a work context, as a parent or person in any type of teaching/mentoring/guiding role.
When I did a taster sessions towards the end of last year, there was much discussion about conflicts with colleagues and more so parents of teenage children. It’s a tough one isn’t it? How to balance supporting your children to be the best they can be and letting them be independent to find their own way, learning from their own mistakes.
So much of what I heard was parents in a ‘position’. They ‘should’ do their homework, they ‘should’ choose this or that, they ‘should’ be behaving differently in some way. Of course they dearly love their children and certainly have more years life experience – however sharing experience and knowledge is very different to DEMANDING that children live their day to day life your way.
The very sad thing is that whilst we continue to INSIST we know better or we insist on something or someone being different – we don’t actually get to hear or be with others as they really are. We miss asking questions, hearing them and empowering them. We are so blinded by the drivenness of our position – there is no room to see or have compassion for ‘the other’. Whether that’s your children, your co-worker, your boss, your neighbour, your partner – the list is endless. You stay at logger heads, both in a ‘position’. Neither of you will budge so there nowhere to go but blame, resentment and disconnection.
As Nelson Mandela said ‘resentment is like drinking poison and hoping it will kill your enemies’. The main person who suffers is you.
This matters because you and your contribution in the world matters. How YOU behave, how YOU respond, how YOU react. You create your experience and this in turn creates a collective that is put out into the world every second of every day. This isn’t about any perfect way to behave, it’s about having the courage and willingness to check in with yourself and stay connected with others.
This is what the course is about, learning powerful tools so you can get off your ‘position’. I know for me this has taken courage, compassion, a willingness to go first, a willingness to be vulnerable and share my fears – and my judgements about others (even ones I dearly love). But gosh, why wouldn’t you take this opportunity to transform your relationships with your partner, children, boss, relatives, parents, colleagues? Who doesn’t want more connection in their life and in the world? This is it! Your life is happening right now.
The Transforming Conflict course is running Thursday 28th January 10-6pm. Be courageous! Come and explore how to transform your conflicts, in a warm and welcoming environment, and get focused on how use transformational tools to break the conflict cycle.
OR join me for an FREE online taster session on Tues 26th January 6-7:30pm or Saturday 6th February 10-11:30am.
I’d love to see you there!
FREE tickets here: Book FREE Online Taster for Transforming Conflict