"In addition to the courage to be vulnerable, and the willingness to use BRAVING skills, moving closer means we need tools for navigating conflict."
In these 31 Days of October I am unpacking my learning from the book, Braving The Wilderness, by Brené Brown. She has been a favorite author for years. In this new publication she manages to build a sidewalk and curb in the wilderness where we can bravely tread.
I am really bad at enduring conflict. I hate it. Quickly agreeing to disagree and stopping the discomfort is often my way. However, the outcome of that strategy is that I am not fully honest and we don't understand each other better.
Dr. Michelle Buck has some better skills. She is quoted in Braving The Wilderness with these ideas.
1. Explicitly address the underlying intentions
What is the conflict about? Why is the topic so important to us? Why is this topic so important to the person with whom we are arguing?
A mother is helping her daughter at the birth of a child. There are two other siblings. When the daughter comes home from the hospital she is weak but also irritable. An argument begins over what the mother is making for dinner.
"Why can't you make what I told you?"
"I am making something for which I purchased the ingredients. What does is matter?'
It matters! If you want to help just do what I ask."
What is this conflict about? Dinner? Is it about feeling loss of control? What are the mother's intentions? Does she want to irritate her recovering daughter? Does the daughter resent having her mother making decisions in her home?
"Speaking our intentions does not mean that we will suddenly have the same preferences or opinions, but it often helps to navigate difficult conversations and maintain or build connection by actually understanding each other's motives and interests more closely."
More on Conflict Transformation tomorrow.
Click here to go back to my table of contents to see the other posts.