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Three Approaches to Conflict

Conflict is a reality of business and life. How do you deal with it? I find that there are three basic approaches.

Peace-faking – Possibly the most common of the three types, this is the social pleasing, don’t rock the boat approach. It is a form of avoidance and denial. It typically lacks integrity, and certainly is not transparent and honest. Often the peace faker is “nice” to the people they disagree with, but behind their back they say how they really feel. Peace fakers would say that they keep peace, but they actually fake peace because there has been no resolution of the problem or conflict.

Peace-breaking – This is the aggressive “my way or the highway” approach. Peace breakers use intimidation, strong personality, and anger to assert their ideas and opinions. They would say that they are honest and have passion, and this is just strong leadership. It seems the few that follow them are likely afraid or are peace fakers that go along to get along. They sometimes form a posse with a few others that agree with them and believe that the way to resolve conflict is to stomp out the opposition.

Peace-making – This is the true resolution approach. Peacemakers are mature individuals who have learned how to listen, understand, and speak the truth in kindness. They typically hold solid core values and stand strong for primary principles. They express flexibility and respect toward those who differ with them and give them space to express themselves. Peacemakers pursue true resolution with others. They pursue a real peace based on creating alignment and agreements.

Are you a peace-faker, peacemaker, or peace-breaker? Peacemaking is a learned skill and shift of mindset. Would you like to work on becoming one?

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