Seeing the Opportunity in Conflict

We're generally conditioned to view conflict as a negative experience, rather than as an opportunity. Conflict occurs when two or more people disagree on a strategy for an issue or an action, past, present or future. Conflict can remain unresolved until the individuals involved are able to move to a deeper level of understanding about the situation. This can only occur if three specific steps are taken.

The first step is for one person to be willing to step out of their point of view and show empathy to the others. The second step is for this person to ask some heart-centred questions that attempt to understand the other's view and their underlying needs or values. If one can uncover the needs (present moment values) of both parties, then step three involves helping to choose a strategy that can meet everyone's needs. The beauty about this approach is that we can learn to see conflict as an opportunity to become more intimate with another person instead of a problem that we resist.