You start your day thinking about a good cup of coffee. How you're going to go to that small café down the street, smile and ask for a latte machiatto with extra syrup. No line, just you waking up to that sweet aroma.
So, you start turning your fantasy into reality. You get out of the house, it's raining and you forgot your umbrella, but it's too late to go back. You overslept and you have time for just that quick stop to the café. You get there, but of course it's crowded. You step in line, nervously checking your phone every 5 seconds. Yup, you're 5 minutes late already. You get at the counter, ask for a cappuccino, it's faster that way. You leave, sipping a bit. You burn your tongue…
And so on and so forth, but you probably got the picture. This is one of the common things about conflicts. It's the difference between expectations and the lived reality, moment by moment, that we forget to account for.
We prefer justifying negative behaviours than adjusting accordingly. And that is when conflict arises.
In fact, if we switch to the organizational environment, the top 3 reasons for negative conflicts at work are:
- Gossip - one of the big and disruptive ones that consumes a lot of time, as 2-3 minutes at the bathroom or in the lunch break every day (per person almost) have huge impact on the whole working week.
- Being "actively" absent - going to work, but not being there, letting your mind wander, being apathetic and completely unproductive.
- Unproductive meetings - prolonged, delayed or 4 meetings without any decision or result on the same topic. Sounds familiar?
So how can you change that and make conflict your friend?
Leading out of Drama is all about that, actually living, day by day, with the intention of conflict resolution and improvement. Conflict is just energy, it's up to each person to transform that energy into something negative or positive.
Entering the compassionate cycle (as the method calls it) means converting the energy of a conflict into positive energy by being open, persistent, and resourceful in every relationship. With awareness and focus, every one can better understand the source of a negative behaviour and turn it around.
What that means is refusing to take sides, understanding the other side's position and background, and stating your own "ground" with empathy and accountability.
All it takes is practice and patience as these are trainable skills. And that's how you make positive conflict your lifestyle.
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