art work by John Ceprano
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Simmering signs

Over the years of interacting as a child in our families of origin and schools and then as an adult in our work and relationships, we develop views about the sorts of things that are acceptable and unacceptable actions, words, attitudes, styles of communicating and so on. Most of us aim to demonstrate the behaviours we consider appropriate and expect the same of others. However, there are times our own actions do not align with our values and our expectations of others. In any case, when we observe or perceive that others are interacting in ways that do not fit within our values or beliefs about what is and is not suitable conduct, many of us tend to make judgments about them. Such judgments may take the form of attributions and biases that we apply though they are not accurate and emanate more from our emotional reactions than actual facts.

Simmering signs of discord are detected as soon as we sense internal upset. However, the reasons are not always easily identifiable at a cognitive level. It is a time to see how to strengthen our instincts by questioning our emotional reactions and discover what is simmering and why.

This week’s blog invites you to answer the following questions by considering a situation in which you are experiencing a simmering signal that you want to explore further:

  • What specifically created an inner reaction in you?
  • What three words best describe the impact?
  • When the sense of discord began to simmer for you, in what other ways did you experience that?
  • What is keeping the situation simmering?
  • What is keeping it from not boiling?
  • What do you know doesn’t work for you when things are simmering?
  • What sorts of things may you do that are different from what you usually do when matters are simmering?
  • Which of these possibilities resonate most for you to try?
  • Starting with one of these (if there is more than one) what will you do to make that happen? Specifically, what will that look like, be like and feel like?
  • Which other one(s) may also work and what may it/they look like, be like and feel like?

What other ConflictMastery™ Quest(ions) may you add here?

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