The conflict cycle December 6, 2013 by skoopharder
Real freedom is the ability to pause between a stimulus and a response and, in that pause, choose. – Rolo May
Conflict is a natural and inevitable part of life. It is primarily our actions and reactions to these challenges that determine whether the situation will have constructive or destructive results.
In stress, we all regress to our earlier learnings, and since defensive conflict behaviours were often learned in fragmented, distorted fashion from experiences of high anxiety and tension, they may be our least functional behaviours. – David Augsberger
Our individual experience with conflict tends to follow a self-perpetuating cyclical pattern made up of several distinct phases. This pattern can be healthy or problematic. If used as a map, this cycle can help us to understand how conflict operates in our lives:
1. Think of a recent conflict. What did the other person do that was irritating or problematic?
2. What was the impact on you? What was your response?
3. What was the consequence of your response? How did the other person respond to you?
4. What does your response tell you about your beliefs and attitudes about conflict? How did the consequences reinforce those beliefs?
Other questions to consider:
What did you do in this situation that the other party would have seen as being irritating or unhelpful? How did the other party respond to your actions? What does that tell you about his/her beliefs about conflict or about you? What other response could you have chosen? What do you suppose the consequences would have been?