“It’s not as much about who you used to be, as it is about who you choose to be.” Sanhita Barauh
Chapter 1 Using These Tools
Using these tools for Self-Awareness Building
Analyzing conflicts, using the types of goals, SCARF model, and conflict styles are perfect places to start understanding yourself in conflict and building your self-awareness. Self-awareness is a core competency in becoming a great conflict manager.
Understanding your patterns in conflict situations, what your triggers typically are, and understanding your styles and behaviors in conflict is key to start managing conflict productively. If you don’t know what is really going on for you, you might find yourself unable to identify what is causing the conflict you are experiencing and therefore you are unable to get conflict resolved. If you don’t know what is going on for you, it is hard to get your needs, wants, and desires met.
Ask yourself the following questions to develop your own self-awareness. This is a personal reflective activity, being open and honest with yourself leads to the most benefit.
- First, think of a conflict you are experiencing or have experienced.
- What am I thinking and feeling about this conflict? Why?
- What am I seeing or experiencing that lead me to this conflict?
- What types of goals do I have in this conflict?
- What SCARF Model triggers am I experiencing?
- How have I behaved in this conflict? Which conflict style is that related to? Is this behavior helping or hurting the situation?
- What could I be doing (or have done differently) in addressing this conflict?
Using these tools for Other Awareness Building
Understanding others is also a core competency in becoming a great conflict manager. Once you understand what is going on for you, you can move onto the next question, “what could be going on for them?”
Not just “putting yourself in someone else’s shoes” but thinking about what it is like for them to live in their own shoes. Ask yourself the following questions to develop your other-awareness.
- First, think of a conflict you are experiencing or have experienced with them.
- What might they be thinking of feeling about this conflict?
- What are they seeing from you that lead to this conflict?
- What types of goals might they have in this conflict?
- What SCARF Model triggers might they be experiencing?
- How have they behaved in this conflict? Which conflict style is that related to? How is it different than your style? Do these styles clash?
Using these tools for Relationship Building
As we continue in this book we will look at many strategies to build relationships through conflict. With the tools in this chapter, you can start changing the way conversations about conflict take place.
If you recognize that you have been trying to solve the wrong problem, and a conflict has only been presented as a substantive goal instead of addressing the relationship goal that is the bigger issue, you could try talking about the relationship you have with someone. “Hey, I’m reading this book/taking this class and realize that we have been trying to fix the wrong thing. Would you like to hear about what I learned? If so, I would love to talk about our relationship and what it means to be good roommate because I think maybe we have differing ideas.”
If you recognize that you need something from someone in relation to the SCARF model, such as more autonomy, then you can share why that is important to you and ask for it directly. Relationships are built on understanding one another, so sharing what you understand about yourself with someone else is a great start. “Hey, I just realized how important autonomy is for me, so I need a little bit more freedom in this project to explore all the ideas I have. What do you need from me to feel comfortable with that?”
If you recognize where you have been triggering someone in relation to the SCARF model, such as certainty, then share that you recognize that. “Hey, I just realized that I haven’t been as clear as I could be. Here is what I know…. I don’t have all the answers, but once I know more I will let you know. Please feel free to ask for clarity if you aren’t getting it from me.”
And finally, if you notice stylistic difference in how conflict is handled. Name it. Call it out, in a kind way. “Hey, I think maybe we are approaching this situation differently. Do you want to talk about how we would like to handle this? We get to decide what this looks like going forward.”