The Magic of Conflict
It was a pleasure to meet the talented Jane Gunn who hosted an interesting event recently ‘The Magic of Conflict’. Jane had wonderful energy which engaged the audience from the get go.
I was sitting right next to the broccoli so every so often, I was a little distracted by it, what has a plate of raw broccoli got to do with conflict? It was ever so strategically placed next to a plate of chocolates…
Jane Gunn is an International speaker on Mediation, a former city solicitor and Author. She is a board member of the Civil Mediation Council of England. She is a director and past president of the Professional Speakers Association. Her book on conflict management How to Beat Bedlam in the Boardroom and Boredom in the Bedroom, is an eye opener and empowering book for busy professionals so this was firmly on the list to order as soon as I got out of the workshop.
Jane made the workshop truly interactive to promote our collaboration skills, resolve conflict easily and quickly (before it turns into a lose/lose situation for all involved) and how to improve morale.
We did one exercise where we had to work with someone to draw a house both holding the same pen so there was a lot of negotiating, understanding and discussion taking place. The emphasis was on communicating effectively, listening to one another and laying down those mutual terms to prevent conflict in the future.
Did you know that he cost of conflict is £30 billion a year? It’s not just monetary costs either, it costs time (at work or personal), well-being and even relationships
Things to remember when trying to resolve conflict:
• Don’t look at who’s right or wrong, just look for that solution
• Culture, what is it like in our workplace or our team?
• Values, what are our values? Do we live them?
If you consider all of these points you should be able to have conversations using the right (appropriate) language and with confidence
There are many different things that cause conflict here are some that the group came up with:
• Giving feedback
• Competing priorities
Conflict is a process by which people express their unhappiness. As Jane says, it is a conversation that didn’t happen or didn’t happen well.
Oh yes, the broccoli vs chocolate, it was a social experiment to show that most people will ignore the broccoli and head for the chocolate, because chocolate is the nice thing and we’re conditioned to the nice things, we overlook the fact that the broccoli is better for you and the right thing to do!
This workshop certainly gave food for thought (literally with the broccoli I suppose!), is it worth being in conflict? I don’t think so, it seems like a loss situation to me but it’s all about training yourself to reach a solution as quickly as possible before any major losses take place. It all about handling situations with care, courtesy and respect, not just for others but for you and your time and well-being too!
Jane quoted something which made me smile and rounded up the afternoon nicely ‘never in the history of calming down has anyone calmed down when someone is telling them to calm down!’
Please see attached follow up notes below!
Words by Nix Bhachu
This event has now passed
Notes and documents
A roundup of useful documentation and relevant links from this event for personal use.