Conflict is one of those necessary elements of life that every creature gets to deal with. HOW we deal with whatever conflicts arise, determines the quality of our lives.
One of my earliest recollections of conflict happened each Saturday morning as we sat in front of the TV waiting to watch the antics of Tom & Jerry! Talk about conflict! As Jerry flitted through each scene looking like he was having a blast, Tom was never far behind, reacting and planning his revenge. Funny isn't it? How much we can learn from a cartoon?
WE HAVE A CHOICE: Both Tom & Jerry were embroiled in conflict each Saturday morning but only Jerry triumphed, while poor Tom was left wondering why he was always a step behind! Anytime we are faced with a conflict we have a choice and can deal with it from any mindset. Choose Jerry's approach! Have a little fun and relax knowing that everything has a way of working out!
BEING RIGHT IS NOT ALWAYS RIGHT: As much as I loved watching Jerry get away with murder, it was always curious to me why he almost always escaped victorious! In most episodes, Tom was justified in seeking his revenge afterall, there are only so many injuries you can endure! But sometimes exacting your revenge or trying to prove you are right all of the time, carries a price that is tiring to pay (as evidenced by Tom's often worn out and battered demeanor!).
MEET IN THE MIDDLE: Just like any great drama, the Tom & Jerry episodes were mostly about conflict but every once in awhile there were those rare scenes where Tom & Jerry did something amazing- they took a time out from the conflict and met in the middle. Those episodes were often filled with great music and pastries (of course!).
CONFLICT BASICS: Most of our 'real life' conflicts are not as enjoyable as those Saturday morning cartoons of yesterday, so here are some excellent thoughts on how to deal effectively with the conflicts that you are faced with:
First you must define the situation accurately and not allow your judgment to be impacted upon
especially if directly involved.
Next brainstorm the catalyst of the conflict itself in order to find the correct cause and importantly impact of the conflict.
Only then can the conflict effectively be discussed and practical solutions that work for all parties
considered. Solutions must not only take into account the short term but must also be sustainable
by all parties involved.
If you are experiencing conflict in any way, shape or form, your communications with family, friends, coworkers & customers can be negatively impacted. Your normal, enthusiastic response for example, could be altered if the conflict you are working through is not dealt with properly. Be sure to find your personal conflict resolution solution!
Life is not like a cartoon (most of the time) however, you may want to figure out how to lean towards Jerry's way of thinking, and guard yourself against falling into Tom's trap. Conflict does not have to be an all consuming and stressful event. Define the situation, stay calm, brainstorm possible win/win solutions and when all else fails: HAVE FUN!!