I am a member of the www.linkedin.com group on ADR, Conflict Resolution & Mediation Exchange.
This week an interesting question was posted that generated a lot of interesting answers.
The question that was posted was: “What single phrase or mantra do you use to support yourself when the going gets tough in supporting others to resolve conflicts or when you are in conflict with others?"
Here are samples of some of my favorite answers – some serious and some not so serious:
• “Trust the process” is one I have found useful
• “Stay curious” – especially when I am in conflict with others. I will also sometimes adopt the Alice in Wonderland phrase “curiouser and curiouser” to do “deepening work” in a mediation
• Anger is a vehicle of communication that always carries a message. The person who expresses anger is trying to present information. Often it is information that, without the anger, he wouldn’t have the courage to express…
• I try to focus on the underlying message, not necessarily the expressed emotion or the surface message. I guess my mantra would be “I wonder what is underneath this”
• If this were easy, anyone could do it
• Expect emotion, not logic and respect emotions of others
• I have found that emotions are 80% and logic is 20%, and when we negate the emotions of the other we are insulting and irritating the persons more. Respect their feelings, feelings are never right or wrong, so don’t use logic to analyze the feelings. Show empathy and compassion for them, and slowly the logic will surface.
• Anger is like quicksand; the more you fight or try to control it, the deeper you sink…Bottom line, personal perspective of the situation is paramount. What am I feeling? What am I thinking? My mantra is “It’s all good”
• Think outside the box
• Conflict is usually emotionally driven and not logic driven
• I take my ego out of the process and let the “magic” happen
• I am visualizing my hands slowly closing around your neck
• Lets take a step back and evaluate how you would advise someone if they were in the same situation – evaluative role playing at its best
• My primary role is to actively listen. Most people just want someone to HEAR them and acknowledge their pain in a safe environment.
• It will unfold
• I am the guardian of the process; I am not in charge of the outcome
• Goddess, let me be a channel for your peace, your love and your clarity
• Stay present and pay attention
• KISS – keep it simple & short
• Patience is a virtue
• I think to myself after I just heard something alarming…take a couple of deep breathes, remain calm, do not let my face show any strong reaction, don’t say anything to inflame the situation, be thankful that this is one mistake that I chose not to make in this life & remember there are 2 sides to every story
• I’ve observed that for some people I am exposing them to a completely new way of conflict resolution that they have never tried before
• The alternative to resolving this dispute is playing the mutual game of death by a thousand bleeding wounds inflicting on each other – day after day – month after month – year after year. One of you wins a bloody victory not worth winning – the other a loss – marked by pain, suffering, financial loss and the empty feeling of frustration. This war needs to be ended now.
• When I have finished listening to someone in a conflict, I say that I understand the complainant’s point of view and then look for common threads in all arguments to reach a mutually acceptable resolution. You know you have been successful in mediation when both sides are a little bit on happy. One of my clients stated that after a successful mediation.
• Take light things seriously, and seriously things lightly
• As self talk, “stay calm, be courageous, and watch for the signs”
• My favorite is “trust the process”
• Do I have a dog in this hunt?
• The 2 most liberating phrases for me are “I don’t know” and “you may be right”
• I like one my mother used to say – “this too shall pass