Coaching exercise: my relationship with conflict
Our beliefs and values drive our behaviours. Creating long-term sustainable behaviour change requires belief change and the first step to identifying our relationship with conflict is to examine our beliefs about it. I know many people who have been on “dealing with conflict” training courses or read books or articles about it but they have not been able to implement the changes required because they have not re-examined their deep-seated beliefs about conflict.
Take some time to write down your answers or work with a friend or colleague, taking it in turn to ask one another the following coaching questions:
• What were my early experiences of conflict?
• What messages did I receive about conflict from my family or my environment?
• What am I assuming will happen if I engage in conflict? Are those assumptions reasonable and if not, what would be more reasonable assumptions to have?
• When, where and with whom have I dealt with conflict successfully? What contributed to that? How did it feel? How can I learn from that?
• When, where and with whom have I not been able to deal with conflict successfully? What contributed to that and how did it feel? What can I learn from that?
• What thoughts, emotions and physical feelings do I experience when I sense that conflict is present?
• Who do I know who deals with conflict very skilfully? What can I learn from them? How can they help me?
• What is the price I pay for not dealing with conflict effectively?
• What is the benefit of embracing and confronting conflict?
• What will happen if I don’t make any changes?
• What one small step could I take immediately to improve my approach to dealing with conflict?