That Fork in the Road

 In Conflict Management, Conflict Resolution

When interaction is starting to get volatile and things are quickly getting ugly. Keep in mind you have the choice to continue down the same path you were headed or venture down a new road.  Deciding to turn down another street isn’t taking a weaker stance.  Keep in mind the power of choice and note the correlation with strength.

Recognizing:

  • tempers are starting to flare,
  • your actual participation within the dynamic

and

  • knowing from experience the conflict is heading to a bad place

Is reason to:

  1. Take time to assess your immediate circumstances and weigh in on your situation.  Ask yourself;

E.g. What’s at stake here?    Is it worth it?  Is this person worthy of my time?  What are immediate and future consequences?  How is this situation going to end using the current approach?

and

  1. Exercise conscious choices that will lead to the best outcome for you and in the situation.

What makes it difficult is sometimes we know we’re right and we want to prove that point! We don’t wanna back down!

The higher road is travelled by few because it is difficult to see past what lies directly in front of us, however when we see the overall big picture it puts things into perspective and empowers us to make better decisions.

Set aside emotion and establish:

  • Who is this person to you,
  • What adding fuel to the fire will cost and
  • How much you value the relationship

One weapon in the fight to minimize destructive conflict, save relationships and maintain dignity is to walk away.  If you come to realization that the style of interaction you are engaged in is counterproductive, by literally exercising your right to walk away and disengage you have taken the wind out of the sails of the conflict.  Although it may actually enrage the other person to whom you walk away from, do what’s best for you.  Anyway you cut it could have a lot to lose.

Walking away from a situation not worthy of your time sometimes takes no turning back and that’s that. Lesson learned, move on.

Walking away is not to be confused with don’t address it and you sweep the issue under a rug.  At a later time, if and when things have cooled off, from a different calculated approach (hopefully less confrontational) address the matter again. Disclosing from the onset of the dialogue that what you value about the relationship, validate emotions surrounding the issue and your desire to resolve the conflict to maintain that relationship is often a great place to start

Raising the Bar with Roderick

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