People are predictably different.
“Why predictably?” I hear you say.
If you really examine and explore this further, although people are uniquely different, funnily enough they can be predictable in their behaviours based on their personalities.
What’s more interesting is, when surrounded by similar personalities or people with similar passions but dissimilar values and beliefs, this is when things start to heat up.
As a teacher, prior to leaving the classroom, I often found myself in the midst of conflicts (both subtle and overt) which did create additional stress and anxieties.
Upon reflection, often those conflicts had arisen due to a clash in personalities.
Everyone had the best possible intentions (for them) and often were so passionate about their ideas and their vision which meant they were not open to alternative suggestions.
In an ideal world, it would be lovely for everyone to get on well and for workplaces and relationships to be harmonious.
However, as Rocky Balboa would say,
“The world ain't all sunshine and rainbows”
and unfortunately, this is the same in a working environment and in relationships (both personal and professional).
But don’t panic, as with everything, there’s a solution.
Learning how to avoid or reduce conflict can help individuals to reduce stress and anxieties and focus on boosting those positive hormones - which can help people to feel happier, healthier and more fulfilled.
Interestingly, unique experiences and unexpected events which haven’t been encountered before are perfect recipes for conflicts and drama. Being made redundant, working from home, relationship breakdowns, the loss of a loved one, home-schooling, global pandemics…you name it.
It’s important to learn what we don’t know to prevent being trapped in a web of dramas and conflicts which will impact on your mental, physical and psychological wellbeing.
Psychiatrist Karpman (1965) presents an overview of how conflicts occur in a model which he refers to as the ‘Drama Triangle’. This expresses that each person plays a specific role in any conflict.
Despite the model being triangular, it’s a cyclical approach and individuals can rotate around the triangle depending on the situation and/or their environment.
He introduces three roles: the ‘victim’, ‘rescuer’ and ‘persecutor’ in his model and intriguingly, one role isn’t more superior than the other as all parties have the best intentions. But, when stuck in this metaphorical “triangle” their emotions can be extremely unresourceful which reduces the likelihood for a positive outcome.
So, what do you do from here if you find yourself involved in conflict?
Step 1: Take a step back and assess where you are on the triangle. Each person on the triangle has a positive intention so it’s important to get a bird’s eye view of the situation and try to see it from their perspective.
Step 2: Be your own James Bond or Luther (clearly, I have a thing for Idris Elba) and investigate the facts. It’s important to ask yourself, “What have I actually seen or heard?” and also “Am I making any assumptions?”
Step 3: Find a more empowering resolution. During a situation where tensions are high it’s difficult to think objectively but again, it’s important for you to reflect on the situation and ask yourself, “what would I like to have happen here?”
Step 4: Ignite a more positive and meaningful dialogue with the parties involved and listen to each other.
Step 5: Recognise the role which you no longer choose to play in any conflict or drama. Empower yourself to focus on you and the things which are within your control; let go of the things that you can’t control which no longer serve you.
Just a heads up…
If you’re a teacher reading this, I thank you for all you have done during these uniquely different times. To support you I have partnered with a friend of mine who is also a qualified teacher and transformation coach and we have launched ‘The Teacher Wellbeing Project’. This online wellbeing day will be hosted on the 27th August (from 10am to 2pm). We will be offering training on mindset, resilience and wellbeing, designed for teachers returning to work in September.
For further details please see here: https://bit.ly/theteacherwellbeingproject
About the Writer
Rebecca is an award-winning social entrepreneur, an internationally recognised, fully accredited and qualified Teacher, Transformation Coach, Neuro-Linguistic Programming and DISC Behaviour and Personality Profiling Practitioner.
Rebecca passionately helps heart-centered and purpose driven entrepreneurs and professionals to thrive in all aspects of their lives. Her core purpose is to empower her clients through powerful and transformational coaching, mentoring and training so they can live a truly fulfilled life.
If you’d like support on reducing the conflicts and eliminating the dramas in your life then email Rebecca at email@example.com.
She also hangs out in her free Facebook group (for heart-centered and purpose driven professionals and entrepreneurs): www.facebook.com/groups/TheJigsawCommunity