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My ‘Conflict’ Valentine

On this day, the one that springs to mind for me is Romeo and Juliet.

Most of us know the basic premise, two families take adversarial positions on a matter (long since forgotten) in which they become so entrenched that no-one can move them – the two young lovers die as a result, ironically at their own hands (sorry for the spoiler!)

I’m always interested in conflict ‘positions’. Firstly, this word suggests to me a very ‘narrow’ area within which one can operate. This means that when the other side pushes back, criticises or even questions (yes, even that innocuous ‘why’ word), the natural reaction is to build a defence – the more adverse the feedback, the higher, stronger and more obstinate the wall becomes. As a result, it becomes harder for the defender to later move without losing face (even when it makes sense).

This leads me on to my second point; Often behind a position lies an ‘interest’ – these tend to be more wide-ranging and linked to overarching objectives which might be achieved by a range of different strategies.

By using empathy (one of our core foundations) to really understand the other party’s interests and ultimately their objectives, creative ways of resolving conflict, with value, become much more likely.

Oh, and just a reminder, you’ve still got a time to get that card or gift, if that’s your ‘expected’ thing!

Written by: Sam Macbeth -

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