Novel Approaches to Conflicts

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What starts small could grow up beyond imagination and reach unexpected sizes. Conflicts of all types have this tendency. The snowballing effect of conflicts is practiced at all levels.

Let us take few examples:

A husband and wife enter into a discussion to suddenly develop into conflict and divorce.

A customer complaints about a product. The negative attitude of the service-provider infuriates the customer. Negative feelings now are met with negative responses. Two negative poles repel each other. The customer is even propelled further for the provider and decides to complain on social media. His complaint is tagged by many fellows to reach an unthinkable level. The service-provider loses trust, reputation and customers to run out of business.

These example are regrettably common. Let me use a simple scheme first to explain why.

Conflict leads to>>> destruction + irritation + hate + energy

Like an exothermic it tends to become spontaneous because not only heat is released, but also entropy is increased. Feelings of hatred and irritation are disorderly states. That heat is released and entropy is increasing means the conflict reaction has the tendency to propagate on its own. To intensify the negative feelings means that the β€œheat of conflict” shall only increase and that the resulting disorder shall increase. To stop this cycle we have the option of trapping the released heat and redirect it to new thinking, new ideas, new approaches and new mentalities to cope with the conflict.

As long as we look at a conflict negatively nothing shall change. Here is the challenge. Can we imagine conflict as a source of life and new beginning? Can we have creative inversion of our attitudes to negativity to view it as a bifurcation point from conflict to understanding? The answer is yes if we may first consider the making the energy output of the conflict into an energy input for understanding and even transformation. Like we transform energy from one type to another can we then transfer the energy of conflict to an energy of transformation? Gandhi did it with his salt strategy. He met the conflict of India’s independence by a peaceful strategy. Can we do the same?

The Source Mediationβ„’ model recognizes that there are three basic ways in which we manifest our individual energy: through emotions with an emphasis on relationships, through actions and an emphasis on results and through creativity where the emphasis is on vision. I drew the model in the illustration below. I love this model for it gives a new thought. Instead of providing the energy to the reactants of a conflict, we could redirect it to prompt another reaction leading to peace.

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We know the results of a conflict that are negative. We need to redirect our energy to playing negative feelings down so that the conflict reaction would slow down. We need to deactivate our negative emotions at the same time we need to widen our imagination to transform the end product to something better for both conflicting parties. If a wife and husband have a conflicting misunderstanding the husband could easily find a funny topic to both parties to divert the attention from the conflict to something that would make both parties laugh. Meanwhile, the heat of conflict cools down.

We can solve a conflict only if we are larger than it is. It is by being large and tolerant that we may think creatively to find a way to deal with a conflict creatively and productively. But we need first to transform ourselves.Β 
Magdalena-Maria GROSU wrote a great comment on my previous buzz shared on LI. It is the brilliance of this comment that prompted me to write this buzz.

β€œLife cannot be lived without conflicts. A conflict could be compared to an icebreaker. A strong, armoured boat, capable of breaking the thick stratum of polar ice, needing to gather its strength in time and a lot of effort to unleash a genuine scandal... It takes days, weeks and even years in row for the discontent to accumulate so that bloody icebreaker... meaning a strong conflict, to be started. But once started, it will clean up everything in its way, and the waters, closed in under a thick layer of caution, will liberate themselves and flow once again. The communication channels will strongly vibrate, emotions will make big waves and many things that were stuck in the routine will sink. Anyway, as the ice is getting thinner, and waters are clearing out, man understands where he's been done wrong, and, of course, he rectifies that. In other words, he makes a progress!... Yet, some may say that it is better to avoid conflicts, by progressing anticipated. It can be done this way too, but you have to be careful never to catch... ice on shore. In cold times, it is obvious that it takes a conflict in order to warm up a little”.


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Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#40
Brian McKenzie your reference to Gandhi and your last few words say it all concisely. I agree with you entirely.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#40
@briian mcken

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#38
Thank you for stepping in again my friend Edward Lewellen #36 . I did not wanter to trouble you. Your sequential analysis of the conflict issue is great. Yes and if we act in contradiction of our core values this means we have more than one identity. I shall write a buzz to reflect more on your greaft comment.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#36
exactly and we know that emotions are bybfar faster than thinking. Emtions play a significant role in conflicts. I agree fullybwith you John Rylance

John Rylance

John Rylance

3 years ago #32

#35
#34 The hardest conflicts to resolve are those in which we are heavily emotionally involved. These are usually those to do with our nearest and dearest, but not always. The level of emotional involvement is a crucial factor in any conflict resolution.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#34
great thoughts Proma \ud83d\udc1d Nautiyal State of mind and cost of conflict make us wiser towards family conflicts. Passionate ties have their role too.

Proma 🐝 Nautiyal

Proma 🐝 Nautiyal

3 years ago #30

I agree, Ali \ud83d\udc1d Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee, conflicts are a necessity, without them we would live in ignorance as we would not be questioning or hunting for answers, proofs, and examples. The motivation to look for a way to diffuse the situation comes from two things, how invested I am in the relationship (more invested when it comes to family, less invested when it comes to a vendor) and the state of mind I am during that time (in a hurry, irritated/ have lots of time, relatively calmer). Truth be told, I will be more patient when it comes to conflicts within family. I have faced the vendor situation a few times as some salesmen are not too interested in selling. In those cases, I just walk out, but not without reminding them that they should value people's time.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#32
the assumption bias is what I would call this tendency to deal akwardly with a conflict dear Edward Lewellen. It is riskier that cognition bias in my view. I was also hoping that you would not shy off mentioning the visual approach you developed and described in your newest book on living life. I believe your moddel is quite fitting here.

Franci 🐝Eugenia Hoffman, beBee Brand Ambassador

#28
Yes, I agree. Use of common sense is necessary.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#29
We all need your wisdom. Your comment coupled with those comments of Magalena on LI on this buzz make a great story dear CityVP \ud83d\udc1d Manjit. What amazed me a lot is your writing "By the time we have stepped on a minefield we are either going to explode with the conflict or we try to become more mindful of minefields". Incredible as Iam developing two metaphors for conflict. One of them is popcorn which behaves in unpredictable manner. Upon roasting some seeds give great flakes. Some burn and burn in consequence seeds that touch them. Some of the seeds explode and act as "minefields and not mind fields" to quote you. I am about to explode with the heat of your comment.

CityVP Manjit

CityVP Manjit

3 years ago #26

We may see the heat rise in a conflict or we may see people drowning in a particular conflict and both heat and water have their analogies with conflict, but the conflicts to be wary of are one's I would call "minefields". By the time we have stepped on a minefield we are either going to explode with the conflict or we try to become more mindful of minefields. Thus we need mind fields in order to see minefields. What is worse about minefields is that it is not simply how we have pushed someone' elses buttons or someone has pushed our buttons, but that there are horrible people in this world, who have become cunning enough to be people who plant minefields between people. To describe this as ego or evil does not add to the awareness that sometimes between two people in conflict, there is a Machiavellian entity who may have planted the mischief.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#27
I agree with you Franci\ud83d\udc1dEugenia Hoffman, beBee Brand Ambassador. However; i shall entertain the idea when I believe it is advisable or inevitable when to run away from a conflict. This will surely be a topic for discussion.

Franci 🐝Eugenia Hoffman, beBee Brand Ambassador

Where would we be without conflicts? All beings will never be on the same page. The key is how we handle the conflict. I feel avoiding them is not healthy and it's best to determine a resolution.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#25
yes I agree. I shall elaborate on this in my next buzz.

Harvey Lloyd

Harvey Lloyd

3 years ago #22

#24
conflict is born of two or more wants or needs that in conflict. The goal. Whether it’s branding ideas or contract negotiations. If we are indifferent to outcomes there would be no conflict. If we love or hate and outcome then conflict can arise The goal could be as simple as information gathering or making a huge decision I’n conflict their is always a goal your stated example of marriage conflicts would imply one of two together or separate. Staying focused here would allow conflict to resolve. Discussing past experiences will only serve the conflict itself. The escape would be a discussion about who benifits or gets hurt by either choice. Getting the conversation off the two in conflict and broaden their discussion. The third alternative may live there.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#23
now I realize that I may have to write two more parts than one only. I am nust curios my friend Harvey Lloyd to explore more on losing sight of the goal. My question here is what goal(s) do you have in mind? Could you elaborate please? By the way i accept your offer to pay for the drinks. Equally, I hope you accept my offer to pay for the meal.

Harvey Lloyd

Harvey Lloyd

3 years ago #20

#22
Personal investment is usually where folks go wrong in conflict. They loose site of the real goal. I try to stay goal oriented in any conflict or negotiations On occasion folks seem to want to draw you out. Staying focused and offering them an escape insures resolution. Hopefully to win-win It would be a pleasure to discuss the world and humanity in person. Drinks are on me A side not is managing conflict (I am useing your word do consistency but realize my definition is different) in real-time is a game changer. Listening to the parties finding common ground and finding that third alternative is art. I have seen and worked with some masters. This skill is one I had to have. I was always the cat in a rocking chair store. Tail always exposed.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#21
I wonder if I would live long enough to author a book with you Harvey Lloyd. You are truly incredible. You anticipate my mind in an amazing way. In the next part on conflict I am using a metaphor in which when es caping becomes futile. But you add a new thought "in my dealings i always offered this escape". What a great alterbnative. I do hope to meet with you in person one day.

Harvey Lloyd

Harvey Lloyd

3 years ago #18

#20
I see power plays that the game gets upped with each statement. Folks unwilling to understand that the next up could be the one that all hell breaks loose. With each up the game becomes more personal. I stick to the third alternative and walk as i see the conflict rising out of control. Mostly we don't offer the alternative of escape from pride. In my dealings i always offered this escape. This escape though came at my expense. But the outcome increased my checking account. I wasn't there to win but to make money.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#19
amazing quality comments these are Harvey Lloyd. This time I paused mostly on these lines from your comment. "The conflict process implies one thing yet the deliverer is unwilling to play the game to conclusion as those in construction are always willing to do". Your use of the words conflict process. This is high level thinking. Second is why would some people do not opt to do what those in construction do and bring the conflict game to a winning conclusion. Is it the beast charater in some animals to kill the enemy? Is it seeing the other party only worthy a full destruction? Is it the love to humiliate others? What is your reasoning my friend?

Harvey Lloyd

Harvey Lloyd

3 years ago #16

#16
20 years of pipefitters, steel workers and many other trades is a world all to its own. You learn quickly what conflict can lead to in a physical sense. My goal was to make money not bond with the local tradecraft. So conflict resolution became a negotiating style i had to learn. I was the small contractor. I have begun to recognise that the somewhat untidy conflict styles are bleeding over into the professional world. This bravado though is somewhat limited. The conflict process implies one thing yet the deliverer is unwilling to play the game to conclusion as those in construction are always willing to do. I have sat in many meetings that were to resolve conflict and people would poke their chests out and start drawing lines. In my previous world the line would be erased with an invitation. An invitation you would not experience joy. So my confusion when transitioning was really a learning curve. So the third alternative tends to work or you can call the professionals bluff. Calling the bluff of conflict means you are committed to the win, not the resolution.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#14
not for a second I would disagree with you dear Debasish Majumder. You are very wise in writing "conflict not always necessarily yield to disintegration. sometimes it bring one closer to other". This is the heart of the conflict transformation approach. Great comment

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#13
impossible you are my friend Lisa Vanderburg. You wrote "Must be a much different beast in the corporate world and multiple personalities". This is the metaphor I am using in my Partv3 of conflict in my next buzz. You are spot on. I promise this comment too shall be part of my next buzz.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#12
you build bridges and provoke solutions that are greater than the gain possible for any party in the conflict. You also Harvey Lloyd - open my mind with this "dislodging entrenched narratives is a playground that never ends well". The word playground reminds me of a sports-based metaphor. Just please keep inspiring me. You know why I have not experienced any conflictveven when we diasgreed. It is because you practise what you advocate.

John Rylance

John Rylance

3 years ago #12

Two things Lisa, firstly don't sell yourself short. From little acorns grow mighty oaks. Secondly by this I mean the ways you dealt with conflict would scale up to large workplaces. What do larger establishments need to combat conflict? The same as smaller ones but more so. #13

Debasish Majumder

Debasish Majumder

3 years ago #11

nice insight sir Ali \ud83d\udc1d Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee! i guess, heating and cooling both are inevitable process and one followed by other as a law of nature. besides, conflict not always necessarily yield to disintegration. sometimes it bring one closer to other and even end up with more intense reconciliation and bonding. moreover, conflict is necessary too in order to stop the phenomena of conflict. however, great buzz sir. enjoyed read and shared. thank you for the buzz.

Lisa Vanderburg

Lisa Vanderburg

3 years ago #10

Ms. Grosu adds a riveting analogy to spark your wizardry here, dear Ali \ud83d\udc1d Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee! I've mentioned before how I've dealt with conflict in my workplace, but that was tiny. Must be a much different beast in the corporate world and multiple personalities! That said, conflict is inevitable; it can be anticipated, referred, defused, invited or cyclical. I should imagine it takes a great leader to manage or steer it, as there's no avoiding it! Like death and taxes, conflict (strife) is right there beside them!

Harvey Lloyd

Harvey Lloyd

3 years ago #9

#10
As you gather your thoughts consider that conflict involves two people or groups of people. Each is entrenched and must be dislodged from their narrative in order for resolution to happen. I don't do conflict. Not that i fear the conflict but rather, dislodging entrenched narratives is a playground that never ends well. Reframing the negotiation into a third alternative as Steven Covey states is the only answer to conflict. Conflict would seem to imply, at least to me, one side has to win. This should be reserved for the most egregious acts as the consequences will be grave. Getting each side to state what they want, not what they don't like, is the first step in reframing the negotiations around the goal. When i engage in the conflict itself i am willing and committing to winning only. The reality is, nobody wins. So i rarely engage in conflict.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#9
thank you dear Harvey Lloyd for this elegant sharing of the buzz.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#8
this is what I call a super comment Harvey Lloyd. Fantastic and you do highlight great points such as "One the emotions between the conflicting parties and second the goal that was established is now fenced in by this conflict". I a m planning a 3rd part of conflict issue. My next one is using a metaphor to explain in more depth this buzz. Your comment is just what I needed. So, in my next buzz I shall spot more light on this hugely relevant comment. Not surprised at all that the metaphor will strongly be in favor of your comment. Xmas is peace and the next part will also highlight the relevance and adaptability of your comment.

Harvey Lloyd

Harvey Lloyd

3 years ago #6

Conflict and its many derivative labels is becoming more prevalent within the workplace. Stop in and check out the discussion. A great post to leave some thoughts.

Harvey Lloyd

Harvey Lloyd

3 years ago #5

The quote was a good one. We do need to be larger than the conflict itself. I would offer though that conflict is never spur of the moment. It builds over time and show up in weird ways. But first as always i like to look at things in stages/definitions. In communications we are either instructing, discussing, negotiating and then there is conflict. Along this hierarchy conflict can break out at anytime. Especially if it was already brewing in other areas. Conflict does clear the air but it also establishes two issues. One the emotions between the conflicting parties and second the goal that was established is now fenced in by this conflict. A tertiary idea may be that corporate culture can be negatively impacted. When discussions heat up apparently there is a misunderstood goal that we are now negotiating. We need to clarify this at that juncture. When we are negotiating the focus is to keep the goal on the table and not let personal stuff intrude. But when it does....stop the negotiation. Join the two parties together and set a date of selling the team on a combined proposal. Sounds euphemistic in some ways but has worked well for me in the past. Conflict has but two paths. Safety and resolution. If safety is an issue then you need act accordingly. This is important. If the safety part of ourselves is triggered we will never find resolution. So determine the accuracy of your observation, address safety first, then move to resolution. Professionally there is only one way to address conflict, reframe the conflict around the goal. If the parties wish to maintain the personal aspects of the conflict, you have a secondary problem that is separate from the original.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#5
What I say is always what I believe dear Tausif Mundrawala. I am responsible for what I write. I repear you have wonderful experiences that you earned and no wonder then you have a great mind.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#3
dear Tausif Mundrawala- you are a very wise man. I do love your mind. Two points in your comment are worthy of expansion. These are: "I have seen people acting as a fuel to fire rather than glittering dew drops to end the conflict". This is exactly what I meant by cooling the reactants (the controversial parties). Second point is what I call procrastination on solving a conflict. Yes, conflicts expand with time. Negative emotions build up. I think dear Edward Lewellen is the expert to dwell on this issue.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#1
Great opening comment this is John Rylance. I loved your mother-son story and it is in exact conformity with the wife-husband conflict I discussed in the bu. You are right to mention resolution of conflicts. This is one way of doing it. The transformation of the conflict is at least equally challenging so that we may turn the wasted energy of conflict into a useful one. Thank you so much for starting the discussions with such a lovely comment.

John Rylance

John Rylance

3 years ago #1

A great post I particularly liked the Source Mediation Model. A major part of this is conflict resolution. The art of knowing how to bring any argument/conflict to an end. When I was helping parents/teachers modify a child's behaviour, I found it useful to analyse how arguments ended. It became apparent that at some stage one of the parties did something which ended the dispute, and until that occurred the conflict continued. That person had an element of control and could and did use it when they chose. An example a mother said her son would argue and argue about going to bed until she gave him a slap then he happily went to bed. While not condoning hitting a child I suggested she gradually reduced the length of argument and perhaps turned the slap into a playful tap and an off to bed now. It did work and bedtime was less stressful for both. This and others led me to analyse regular arguments I had, and realised I knew how to end them. I suggest one thinks about regular causes of argument/conflict and how they are ended and whether you can bring them to a conclusion before they get seriously out of hand.

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