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Redefining Conflict

By: Ellen Castro

I get to coach people and organizations globally on how to deal with conflict. Isn’t it great we teach what we most have to learn? Once upon a time I ran from conflict and confrontation. It was not worth the emotional roller coaster and possible fallout. It was easier – or at least I thought easier — to be quiet and let things fester. Of course, this was not easier, when things fester; situations get worse. Better to nip them in the bud and have a conversation before the situation escalates and becomes emotionally charged.

Change your thoughts to change your world has become my motto. I now see conflict as a part of life. Conflict is actually good. It develops our leadership and emotional muscles. It creates better solutions and fosters innovation. It helps us understand another person’s perspective. It helps us grow!

I pray the following quotes, thoughts and ideas help you see conflict from a new perspective – conflict is for you!

There will always be bullies. It is not personal. It is there stuff. Your inner preparedness is everything. Inner preparedness means your level of self-confidence. I found my self-confidence grow as I lived a life of credibility, meditated and understood different frames of references don’t make me wrong, just a different viewpoint. Happy in Spite of People to be released in late August has proven techniques to deal with bullies – the “thugs” in your life.

Different viewpoints generate different expectations. Unmet expectations equal conflict. Differing realities create tension. Just ask more questions, non-defensively. Information is power. What I have found through my consulting, people like it when you ask questions. It shows that you care and are listening to their needs, not just forcing yours.

 “There are no facts, only interpretations.” Nietzche

Everyone and every situation is our teacher — on our team for greatness. There are no wasted experiences. Think back to your life, hasn’t even the “bad” stuff been for your good eventually? It has for me.

Different does not equal difficult – just different. What if you thanked them for a new way of looking at things? Breakdown or breakthrough – the choice is ours.

Again, I want to reiterate. It’s not personal, even if it feels personal. Breathe. Override the emotions. Choose a new response. Ask the questions, “What is their fear? What is my fear?”

 Be constructive and solution focused. Always take the high road – always! Even if they don’t, by taking the high road you can live without regrets. I usually have regretted when I lashed out to feel better in the moment. 

“The delivery of the message is as important as the message itself.” Spirited Leadership: 52 Ways to Build Trust

 Chunk up by looking for common ground or shared interests. An example of this could be that your company is reviewing rather to pay a claim or not. Refer to the vision of the company to determine the right choice.

Confront and deal with issues — never assume they will go away. From experience across 17 industries, the issues don’t go away and camps will begin to form. If you do not address the problem, you become part of the problem. Be the solution with a smile!

Talking to each other is much better than talking about each other! Talking about each other is exactly how camps are formed and messes escalate.

An apology is a cheap concession. If you do apologize, mean it!

Forgive instantly. Holding grudges holds you hostage. Take the lessons, learnings and move on!

Remember, we are all works in progress. We are all a bit wounded. Everything is a coaching moment. There are no failures, only learnings. Experience tends to be the best teacher.

What new mental attitude(s) can you adopt today regarding conflict to build your leadership muscle and make your life easier and brighter?

EllenCastro_color_2592Dare to be a Greater You! Here to help! You can reach me at Ellen@EllenCastro.com, www.EllenCastro.com, www.facebook.com/trustEllenCastro and/or www.twitter.com/IgnitingSpirit.

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