My blog is all about how to engage conflict without casualties. I’ve written quite a bit about reframing our relationship with conflict and drama. In this post I suggested that compassion is the antidote to drama. Struggling with people instead of against them is a terrific way to harness the positive power of conflict. So how do you do it?
Three skills help us practice compassion: Openness, Resourcefulness, and Persistence. This post is about Resourcefulness.
Resourcefulness is about bringing together resources to solve a problem, in a spirit of curiosity. Curiosity is the key here. If we aren’t curious, then we become invested in our own ideas or assumptions or solutions and blinded to anything new or creative. Compassion requires that we problem solve together, looking for the best solution. Here’s how:
Exchange information and resources
What do you know that might help? Share it. What questions to you have? Ask them. What assumptions are you making? Check them. What else can you bring to the table that might help us get to a solution? It might sound like:
“What do we need to learn in order to better understand the situation?”
“What information do you (or I) have that could be helpful?”
“What resources do we have that could help us solve this problem?”
People love to do more of what they are good at. If we can connect people’s strengths with the problem we are trying to solve, they are so much more invested. It might sound like:
“What are you already good at that you could use in this situation?”
“Where are you most confident?”
“What skills or knowledge do you have that could help us?”
Build on success
Nothing breeds success like success. Past success can help us in two ways. First, it gives us confidence that we can figure it out this time around, so we put forth more effort. And, it means we don’t have to re-invent the wheel every time. It’s more efficient than starting from scratch. It may sound like:
“What have others done that worked?”
“What strategy did we use last time that we could use again?
“How were we successful before in similar situations?”
Resourcefulness reinforces that we are capable and can work together to find solutions.
Things to ponder
- When you problem-solve during conflict, how curious are you?
- During conflict, do you ever withhold information or resources? Why?
- Where does problem-solving get off track in your life? What could you do to get it back on track?