The following is the introduction from Module 2 of “Essential Skills for Engaging Contlict”, a course that Sound Options Group developed in partnership with Oklahoma State University. These modules are a great resource to lead your team through as you work to improve your conflict engagement skills.
It has been said that “the only person I really have any control over is me”. An essential characteristic of those skilled in effectively engaging conflict is self-awareness and self management. What are my personal beliefs and experiences with conflict? What do I do when I perceive someone has a perspective different than my own? When do I find myself defending my perspective and pushing my solution as the “right” answer? Stephen Covey, in his book The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness, shares the following quote:
Between Stimulus and Response there is a space. In that space lies our freedom and power to choose our response. In those choices lie our growth and our happiness. Viktor Frankl
It has been my experience that our default response when engaging conflict is often less than helpful. Morton Deustch, Social Psychologist, says that our choices determine whether we escalate or de-escalate conflict. Self-awareness and self-management then become critical to our effectiveness.
In this module you and your team will:
- Identify “styles” for engaging conflict along with the pros and cons of each,
- Increase personal awareness of your current “ways of being” when engaging conflict,
- Expand your capacity for seeing conflict as a context for possibility, and
- Be introduced to a structure for preparing yourself to engage effectively when conflict is likely to surface.