How many of us consider conflict to be negative? Nothing good ever comes out of it, right? I used to think so too…
Younger I used to think that conflicts were best avoided, and if unavoidable, they required a whole lot of energy that I often did not have on hand. I would typically give in to resolve the issue rapidly and avoid the other being upset or disappointed. Older I learned that conflicts were sometimes necessary but my body often betrayed me and revealed my nervousness through the likes of sweaty palms, a raised heart rate, and a tremble in my tone of voice. These signs sabotaged my position more often than not and I found myself looking for an escape route and often giving in again!
And then I came across an incredible tool – Leading Out of Drama’s compassion cycle.
And I felt empowered for the first time.
I learned that conflict in itself is simply energy and that this energy can be harnessed to be the author of positive change. I began to see things quite differently… I chose to follow the core concept training and become certified in this new tool to gain deeper understanding of the mechanisms of healthy positive conflict resolution.
And then I had the opportunity to help a very close friend through an intense conflict with one of their colleagues using this tool. We discussed at length the right words to use to not give in but rather disclose wants and needs; the right questions to ask to not give unsolicited advice but to remain curious, let go and move on; and, the right framework to not give ultimatums but to focus on goals and to stop and listen. We worked out a couple different scenarios and, using the compassion cycle, the skeleton of a “formula” to address the conflict in a positive manner.
And it worked!!
The colleague was heard and felt understood. My friend was relieved the conversation had gone well and that the outcome was productive and positive. Both parties had an understanding of the other’s perspective and intention and this time the conflict resolution brought about really positive change on both sides.
If you are interested to know more about this powerful tool, watch this space – www.bbco.be. We will be offering a free teaser very soon…
At the start of this year, I enrolled in the LOD® certification program and was looking forward to learning something new. I love learning!!
LOD® – Leading Out of Drama® – is a really useful tool. “It is the vehicle for building compassionate accountability. It equips you with skills to transform the energy of conflict into meaningful contribution: every day, in every interaction, for powerful personal and professional development.” “Compassionate accountability engages the best in yourself and others for effective and lasting change. [It] helps to shift the framework for leadership, communication, and conflict.”
LOD® provider manual
On top of that, the training was going to take place in Belgrade and I was excited at the prospect of visiting Serbia for the first time! I had started researching some of the cool sites to check out during my time there.
Then the lockdown took effect in Belgium on March 15, 2020! Of course, with the lockdown came the cancellation of my trip to Serbia. Such a shame!
Thankfully, Next Element, the company providing my certification program, was willing to be flexible and offered to do the whole process remotely.
It was a different but not unpleasant experience. I was the only one on the program, so I got a trainer all to myself and customized training. At first, finding the ideal location within our 3-bedroom apartment was a challenge. My husband, who is a teacher and the head of the High School drama department of an international school, was now working from home and teaching his classes online. My youngest daughter was forced to travel home from the UK as the lockdown became a certainty. Needless to say, our comfortably spacious living space seemed to get considerably smaller once all 3 of us needed to be online at the same time! But the training went well, and my bedroom became an unexpected office. (I did manage to arrange the camera angle so only the white wall behind me was visible…)
What my trainer saw vs. where I actually was!
This training opened my eyes to behaviors in my own life that needed looking into. Defining the different drama roles we play, often unconsciously, and what they look like in everyday conversations is mind-boggling. I found out that I naturally tend towards “victim helping”, which I thought was “rescuer”. But shedding light on my own behavior helped me to make some healthy decisions and choices for growth and change. This tool has also shed some much-needed light on my everyday interactions and honed in my ability to detect the drama roles being played by people around me. I now have a practical solution to practice and use when I want to handle conflict in a healthy way. I am far from getting it right every time, but I know that practice is key.
I really enjoyed the experience of online training, being able to do the interactive exercises easily even if through a screen. It is a program I am excited to be able to share with my clients as I accompany them on their own journey of discovery.