“I don’t feel like it.”
Actually, we understand that you don’t.
An apology never works when it is given based in coercion, because an apology should be an active, uniting act. However, reconciliation following an apology doesn’t have its basis in feelings.
Don’t get us wrong, the fact of the matter is, reconciliation when you don’t feel like reconciling should not be an option for many parties in conflict, because if either party is unwilling to come to reconciliation circle, then the whole thing falls apart.
Reconciling with another party in good faith, can only happen when engagement with the conflict has happened in good faith by both parties as well. Good faith is something that we talk about in workplace disputes, and we even bring it up in union negotiations, but very rarely in interpersonal conflict spaces. When both parties are committed to the same outcome, regardless of their feelings, their constituencies’ feelings, and changing circumstances, then reconciliation can occur.
The worst deception—most a particularly in workplace conflicts—occurs when one party think they are reconciling in good faith and the other party is merely buying time for the next opportunity to revisit the old conflict pattern, because that’s where they believe their power lies.
-Peace Be With You All-
Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Email HSCT: firstname.lastname@example.org