Sunday 21 May 2017

Working it Out

"Let no man pull you low enough to hate him"
Martin Luther King, Jr.

It’s really not a nice feeling or experience when you have an argument or disagreement with someone. Well I certainly think so. Though really it is part of life, isn’t it? I do believe, though, that when we have a disagreement we are pushing our attitude of, ‘I’m right and you’re wrong,’ and that this is usually the main reason why disagreements or conflicts occur.

We can have disagreements with a family member, a friend, a colleague at work or our partner. Maybe you are experiencing a disagreement/conflict with someone right now. I suppose the one quick fix to healing a disagreement is to say sorry, right? I could be incorrect. However, for me sometimes sorry can mean nothing. It’s just a word that can easily roll off the tongue. I’ve found with the ‘sorries’ that the issue is not really resolved and will soon raise its ugly head in days or weeks to come. I suppose it all depends how serious the problem was in the first place.

One practical method is to talk things out, resolve the situation, have that two- way conversation. That’s very easy for me to write yet I find it’s not that simple, especially depending on the issue and person involved.  How often do we really truly listen? Are we not just sat there thinking of what to say next? It’s human nature, after all, to defend ourselves. We put our guards up, become defensive, fight and stand up for ourselves because we think we are right and they are wrong.

 Image result for conflict resolution in the workplace
I know that when I have a fall out with my partner, I can become quite stubborn and shut down. Oh the all so famous silent treatment. I can go for hours and days without talking. However, when I reflect back, who is it really benefitting?   Although it’s a cliché, communication really is the key. We may find it hard to digest what the other person is saying. Instead of being quick to jump in, let’s just take it in turns to speak and hear each other out. Take that deep breath and count to 10. At the end of the day, both parties have a common goal and that is to resolve the issue and merrily move on. There is no harm or shame in having a mediator if that is more helpful; it’s even better if the mediator doesn’t know either of you and so has no conflict of interest. It may come with a price tag; however, if it’s going to save your relationship, just do it!
I am a Fellow for the Clore 6 and during my six-month course I was assigned a life coach. I must say the sessions have been invaluable. To be given the opportunity to dig deep and explore my triggers really gave me a good insight into my character. It has been a breath of fresh air to share my true feelings with a total stranger. I did not at any point feel judged. Oh how nice it was to just talk openly and not be interrupted! One key model we explored was the Dramas and Winners Triangle.  Even though the model is based around depression, I feel it is suitable for anybody. I’m sure when you see the triangle, you will relate to a role.   

Just remember that every disagreement or conflict we find ourselves in will always have something to teach us about ourselves.  We need to stand up and take that R word – yes…Responsibility. And if the same issue keeps arising over and over, then we have the power to make the necessary changes.

Youth Elements has partnered with LEAP Conflict and will be delivering a one-day conflict resolution training session on Thursday 13th July, in Manchester. Places cost £199.00 (set price) and are limited. To book, please email me at   or call: 0161 286 1566


Books worth reading:
How to Deal With Difficult People: Ursula Markham
Now or Never, Your Epic Life in 5 Steps: Alexi Panos & Preston Smiles