Turning Conflict into Connection

This last year has been a tumultuous one.

Amid the never-ending chaos, conflict is the one thing that remains constant. And escaping conflict can feel impossible in today’s world. It’s there when you turn on the television to unwind after a long day. We run into it on afternoon walks or trips to the store. It even shows up when we gather with loved ones around the dinner table.

What gives?!

Before we dive deeper, let’s do a mental exercise: What images pops into your brain when it hears ‘conflict’? Do you see something along these lines?

  • A tense conversation
  • Two people yelling at each other
  • Someone walking away with hurt feelings
  • Viral internet memes

The truth is, the world has socialized us Brains to always think of conflict in a negative light. But…what if it doesn’t have to be something negative?

What if conflict is really a doorway to deeper connection?

Moving Towards Empathy

This very idea is so powerful that it’s spawned an entire movement of its own around non-violent communication. This approach to communication incorporates principles of non-violence, not to erase the realities of conflict, but to promote empathy to all involved.

The cornerstone book, Non-Violent Communication: A Language of Life, has sold over 3 million copies since it was first published in 1999.

Conflict Resolution at Brain HQ

Here at Brain HQ, we have our own list of steps around communication and conflict resolution. This is a tried and true process all of us Brains agree to use should a conflict arise:

  1. Conflict is an opportunity for growth, innovation, and deeper connection. We honor these opportunities and explore them accordingly.
  2. Focus on speaking from a place of love and respect, even when tensions are high. Take a moment to get into this mindset before you have the conversation.
  3. Ask questions and address people with the benefit of the doubt.
  4. Don’t require others to agree with me. Share your opinion to contribute to the dialogue.
  5. Trust in the process. If we are patient with our thoughts and words, the challenge will be solved.
  6. Don’t let tensions build over time. Address the conflict directly and promptly with the people involved.
  7. Bring in a mediator if the conflict cannot be resolved through an initial conversation.

So friend, how can YOU plan ahead to better handle future conflicts? I invite you to write your own list of steps for conflict resolution. And if you need some tips or want deeper insight, don’t forget to check out Non-Violent Communication: A Language of Life!

Thanks for snacking on some brain food with me today!
Amy G. Dala
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