art work by John Ceprano
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Reflect, Reflect, Reflect

I find the optimal practice when coaching my clients through conflict is to facilitate their transition from reaction to reflection and only then, to consider the response that reflects how they want to “be” in their conflicts. This isn’t always the easiest transition because when we are in conflict we often get stuck in “reaction” mode. And, unless we are able to process our reaction and the related emotions we do not usually manage the situation as well as we could. Also, in the conflict management coaching process, clients’ work is typically about moving forward and optimizing their potential to make things “right”, rather than spending time on what went “wrong”.

To get to a reflective place we need to move our energy to the outcome we want and be patient by taking slow steps. In this regard, this week’s Conflict Mastery Quest(ions) blog will hopefully help you to take a step forward and away from a dispute if you are stuck in its emotional dimension.

Bringing to mind an interpersonal dispute that’s lodged in the emotional part of your brain, consider the following questions:

  • What is the dispute about?
  • What are three emotions you are experiencing?
  • For what reasons are you experiencing these particular emotions?
  • What is keeping you in that emotional place – that’s making it hard to move on?
  • What are you thinking right now about the other person? Yourself?
  • If you were to get past this place, what outcome do you want to strive for?
  • What emotions will replace the ones you are now feeling?
  • What will you be thinking about the other person that’s different from now? What will you be thinking about yourself that’s different?
  • What niggling feeling or thought remains?
  • What else do you need to do then, to distance yourself and take at least one productive step forward towards the desired outcome?
  • What else occurs to you as you consider these questions?
  • What insights do you have?

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