Conflict is part of all great relationships and success stories, be they personal or professional. Unresolved conflict is also the ingredient that most often stops us from achieving our goals, impedes our relationships, and fills our lives with tension and misery.
How you deal with conflict is one make or break it factor in your success.
Most of us have a default approach to conflict that falls somewhere on the HTI Conflict-o-Meter’s spectrum, and few of us have the emotional bandwidth and skills required to consistently approach conflict as an opportunity to have an awesome conversation. Instead, we either run from conflict, leaving a mound of unsaid and unresolved issues in our wake or approach conflict and the people involved on high alert, often compounding our existing problem and setting us back. Both of these approaches are typically fueled by our perception that conflict means we have to pick a side and that conflict resolution requires achieving agreement.
Conflict is just an opportunity to have a conversation.
What if we approached conflict as simply being an opportunity to have a valuable conversation, one in which we can surface underlying issues, find areas of commonality, and come out on the other side in alignment, if not agreement, with a better understanding of one another? When we successfully peel back the layers of our disagreement, be it over process or differences in values, operating styles, or desired outcomes, we often come to a better resolution and our relationship is strengthened.
The HTI Conflict-o-Meter can help you put down your weapons and armour and stand with an open heart.
Consulting the HTI Conflict-o-Meter before engaging in a conflict can help you determine where you stand in relation to it. If you want to run, or are somewhere close to this on the scale, or you’re ready to fight, it’s a great time to step back and develop an alternative approach that will lead you towards success. Working with a colleague or coach can help you do this as can applying the four HTI Relationship Cornerstones.
When our egos fall away, our curiosity emerges.
The four HTI Relationship Cornerstones are designed to keep your defenses down and your ego at bay so that you can stay in relationship throughout the process. By applying them, you change your landscape from a battlefield in which only one person can win to an exploratory adventure in which everyone can share in the glory of finding a treasured solution and emerge with a better outcome that you’re motivated to implement together.
Applying the HTI Relationship Cornerstones allows you to move through conflict together and emerge with a stronger relationship.
The four HTI Relationship Cornerstones are:
- Speak your heart truth – Talk about your truth as you feel it: your desires, values, concerns, and the impact you’re experiencing, not the rational arguments that your logical and lawyerly brain is creating as to why your perspective is the best one.
- Be curious – Be curious about the other person’s perspective, what their values, concerns, and desires are, and accept them with an open heart. Be curious about what else may be going on or influencing the situation.
- Be open to possibilities – Be open to the possibility that your current conflict may be beneficial, that other perspectives may be valid, that unidentified solutions may be superior to yours, and that you can work together to find alignment.
- Commit to what is – Commit to your current reality, not the one that you wish existed or think should exist and use this as the basis for moving forward, together.
Practicing these Relationship Cornerstones in all your interactions will strengthen your conflict resolution skills and swing your default position on the HTI Conflict-o-Meter to one in which you embrace conflict as an awesome opportunity to have a valuable conversation that can lead to stronger relationships and greater success.