[Opinion] Show Them What They’re Made Of…

Show them what you’re made of.

Why would you do that?

The ultimate call to escalation, ego, and more conflict, comes first in the call, then the attempt, and at the end, either the success (they saw what you were made of—and backed off) or failure (they saw what you were made of—and you were found wanting) is writ large for others.

Instead, here’s a better idea.

Show them what they’re made of.

Many parties in conflict have little idea of how much of themselves they show to another party through the conflict process. They give little consideration to the levels of vulnerability and exposure that they engage in when they choose to escalate. Many parties lack the awareness to know that their language choices, their communication styles, and even their conflict management stances, are all forms of reveal.

A magic trick has three parts: the pledge (the magician shows you something ordinary); the turn (the magician makes the something ordinary seem extraordinary by making it disappear); and the prestige (the magician brings back the ordinary thing).

Every conflict communication requires you to be a successful magician of resolution. Conflict is ordinary. To make it disappear through showing the other party what they’re made of, is the turn. And then to bring the conflict interaction back around to resolution (or at least engagement) is the prestige.

Show them what they’re made of.

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