Self-Mastery and Conflict

Posted by on Jun 22, 2015 in Communication, Conflict Theory, developing interpersonal, Managing Conflict, Self-Mastery | Comments Off on Self-Mastery and Conflict

skills empower us“I sit on a man’s back, choking him and making him carry me, and yet assure myself and others that I am very sorry for him and wish to ease his lot by any means possible, except getting off his back.” —Leo Tolstoy

And what if we could make the “rider” more effective in the area of speech and drama so that he could better convince himself and others with sincere empathy that his intentions are good? I am not sure the man having to carry him would be any more relieved by it.

And so it is with skills. They can be learned and even mimicked with such art that it looks, sounds and even feels legitimate. I have heard individuals say, “I am working hard to understand what you need,” and, “I really want to work this out with you.” While these can be honest positions and come from a place of integrity, they can also be empty and cover a hidden agenda that is self-serving and insincere. When there is deception, someone will ultimately have to carry a burden because of what is not being openly addressed.

Skills can empower us with the tools to make significant changes in ourselves as well as in our relationship with others. They can allow us to deal with an issue more effectively and productively. Learning something new does not eliminate the essential requirement to become aware of and address what we are already doing that creates and intensifies conflict. Skills are essential when I have addressed what needs to be looked at and then, if I choose to make further changes, provide me with handles to move on. Since response to conflict is initiated as an inner process, skills are divided into two areas depending on the focus. The first is how we can settle or deal with what is going on inside of us. The second is focused more on the interpersonal skills to deal with a person or a situation on the outside. Both can be used simultaneously, and, in fact, we have more of an ability to deal with conflict if we do operate from both places. I think that accomplishing this shows self-mastery, which is the epitome of managing conflict.