How can conflict be healthy? (Part 2 of 2)
Updated: Mar 10
What can we do to shift from unhealthy conflict to healthy conflict?
I asked the participants of the course “Open Minds: Learn, Work and Achieve More Together” what they thought.
Here's what they came up with:
Be a role model
Prepare for conversations and be mindful of intention
Excuse ourselves until we are more calm
Disengage when necessary
Use Liberating Structures with groups to empower everyone
Go with a spirit of curiosity and adventure
Practice self-awareness and pause when triggered
Notice when we dehumanize the other person
Let others know we care about they have to say
Ask for support to stay regulated
Move away from right/wrong thinking
Notice the language of judgment
Vocalize a desire for understanding
Take deep breaths
Make eye contact
See the other person’s humanity
Be curious about the person’s needs
Listen openly and with curiosity
Listen to understand, not to respond
Be willing to adjust our opinion or behavior when we can
Maintain respect for the other person even when things are difficult
Refuse to listen to or cooperate with the “conflict entrepreneurs”
Avoid doing anything that would publicly embarrass anyone
Intervene on our own binary thinking and enlarging our “us” to include “them”
De-normalize violence by saying “it is never OK to be violent” when we witness violence or threats
Heaven knows, this kind of shift is not easy. I know very few people who are good at it! But we have to start somewhere, and we must start with ourselves. We can:
Watch for signs of unhealthy conflict that might lead to violence (see part 1 of 2).
Recognize that there ARE things we can do to shift unhealthy to healthy conflict.
Chose to practice and develop habits that can help de-escalate unhealthy conflicts.
What new habit for shifting conflict will you practice today?
Here is Part 1 of 2 of this article.
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Photo Credit: CherryDeck on Unsplash