Chapter 12: From Conflict to Calm

“Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.”

Conflict is everywhere. We experience it in all facets of our life; we see it in our families, our social circles, our workplace, and our world. Conflict will always exist. We are all human beings, with our unique backgrounds, opinions, and ways of doing things. We bring these unique perspectives into every conversation, every exchange, and every relationship with other human beings. Inevitably, we will have situations where the perspective we bring is completely different from another person’s. What we have power over, what can transform a situation from conflict to calm, is our reaction to these different perspectives. Ask yourself, “How do I react to a view that is entirely different from my own?” and “What actions and words will I choose to deal with conflict with my partner, my family, my boss, or the driver who just cut me off in traffic?” In- stead of eliminating conflict, which is impossible, we can focus on eliminating the aggressive, hurtful, poisonous words and actions that often erupt when our perspective clashes with that of others.

Conflicts at Work Conflicts at work can occur in many forms. We may have a onetime conflict with someone that relates to a specific issue or situation. We may also have ongoing conflicts with someone we work with. This can occur because of conflicts in personality, in values, in work habits, all kinds of things. There are also conflicts that will happen on an ongoing basis in any work environment.

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