The difference between people who “succeed” and people who “fail” in a conflict scenario is individual levels of courage.
Courage is in short supply and always has been since the days of the playground bully and meeting new people once you got off the bus for the first time in the first grade and Mom and Dad weren’t there to hold your hand anymore.
Courage is not about preparation, learning, discipline or even persistence and grit—although all of those skills and internal factors help.
Courage is about not needing external validation from the world—basically, not needing assurances to do the right thing—and just doing the right thing in the first place.
In a conflict scenario, it takes courage to confront in a healthy way, prepare for the feedback you will receive about your role in the problem and then integrating that feedback into your worldview, while also giving feedback to the other person about their role in the scenario.
It takes courage to confront a cheating spouse, explain how what they did impacted you and your family and then to listen to them tell you why they made their choice.
It takes courage to address a difficult employee who has little social skills and appears to have even less desire to develop them, and try to find a middle ground to get tasks done in the workplace.
It takes courage to speak up when you think bad decisions are being made in a fraternal, civic, volunteer, or church organization that you disagree with. And it takes courage to hear and accept why those decisions may not be the best for you, but are the best ones for the organization.
Courage is at the bottom of all resolution. Forgiveness is at the bottom of all reconciliation efforts. Labor is at the bottom of all engagement practices, advice and opinions.
So then the question becomes: How much do you really want to grow as a person before you leave this life?
-Peace Be With You All-
Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Email HSCT: firstname.lastname@example.org