Too often, mere competency is confused with expertise. And just as equally as often, expertise is confused with competency.
In the space of a fight, a disagreement, or a “difference of opinion,” the person who appears to be the most competent (and in the Western world, this looks like controlling your emotions and behaving “logically”) to the party they’re in conflict with, to others looking on from the outside, and to themselves, tends to be viewed as a “winner.”
But the appearance of competency is a strategy that most often comes from an internal place of previously codified passive aggressiveness, avoidance or accommodation responses.
The challenge in 2016 is to reset our assumptions around emotional and logical responses and reactions to the conflicts that are bound to pop-up this year. The challenge is not to manufacture disagreements, or strife, in order to show off how adept we are at defusing the bombs we make. The challenge is to change our perceptions around what true conflict competency looks like, not only for the people we see in conflict around us, but also for ourselves.
If we continue to carry the same confusions, assumptions, and appearances into 2016 that we had in the past year, we will continue to get the same outcomes as we did last year, no matter the resolutions we are making today.
-Peace Be With You All-
Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Email HSCT: email@example.com