The Art of Conflict

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Exactly how do you accomplish a harmonious outcome amidst the pandemonium that can ensue when a meeting, or negotiation gets out of control? This piece will help you shape a mindset focused on driving interactions toward a positive conclusion for everyone involved.

“The Problem is not the Problem; the problem is your attitude about the problem. Do you understand?”

 – Jack Sparrow

Where things usually begin to go south is when someone gets the sense that they’re being presented with something nebulous, or hazy, which, while often being done with the best of intent, only serves to muddy the water. Any lack of clarity tends to invoke a sensation of something not adding up for, essentially eroding the lowest common denominator for any successful communication, trust.

In all your interactions, you should aim to be as transparent as possible, uncomfortably so, and yes, even if it triggers a little (positive) conflict. The bare bones facts tend to have a sobering effect, in contrast to assumptions only serving to frustrate progress, so be as honest as you can manage.

Note: When I say as ‘honest as you can, I mean for you to commit to your point without saying anything insulting or aggressive about anything else. When you make remarks that are, let’s say, less than elegant, it won’t have any consequence other than that of diminishing your character in the eyes of your peers.

“The warrior who trusts his path doesn’t need to prove the other is wrong”

 – Paulo Coelho

After you’ve said your piece, become curious, stay silent, and listen carefully. It can be all too easy to spend the time thinking of what you want to say next, or daydream instead of listening to what others are saying. This is when you miss critical information; their viewpoint, intentions, desires, and ultimately any chance of catching hold of a thread that could lead to a swift conclusion where everybody leaves happy.

Remember, communication means being able to listen with as much authority as you speak, and being able to respond intelligibly to what was said. People don’t always need to get their way, and are more than willing to commit to a decision, but only ‘if’ they’ve been given the chance to have their voice heard.

“A person’s success in life can usually be measured by the number of uncomfortable conversations he or she is willing to have”

 – Tim Ferriss

Every solution, much like the one I’m writing now, hinges on clarity, simplicity, and integrity.

It’s far more persuasive to speak from a place of honest conviction than people think, so, If what you have to say doesn’t add to your one of those things, lose it.

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