Avoiding conflict

I’m heading into a training session for the rest of the week on Alternative Dispute Resolution.  There are a number of people out there laughing their asses of at this because they know how much I loooooove conflict.

I mean right up to this afternoon I wanted to bail on (cancel or postpone) the training.  That’s why I know I should do it.  I have to come to realize that my barometer for “uncomfortableness” is a very good indicator of what I should be doing and not avoiding.

I don’t mean disregarding my gut and putting myself in potential harmful situations.  Like the employer I used to work for that insisted I ride down in the elevator with employees that we had just terminated to make sure they left the building.  If countless suspense/action movies have taught us anything…it’s that you don’t get into an elevator alone with a potentially emotional or pissed off person.

No, I’m talking about the kind of feeling you have when you feel like you will be the only person who doesn’t understand the program or makes that social status ending gaffe.  You know, the school day jitters where you just don’t want to look dumb.

Wouldn’t it be ironic (don’t ya think), if I avoided conflict by…well, avoiding conflict (training).

I think one of the keys to becoming successful member your organization, as well as society as a whole, is recognizing that you really can’t avoid issues – they never seem to go away.  However, it isn’t enough to just “deal with them”…you have to learn to deal with them in away that:

1) you aren’t creating a new issue

2) you can sleep at night with how you dealt with it

3) you actually learned something

For me, that would be the ultimate take-away from the session.  That and ability to successfully negotiate with my 13-year old.


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