Why Conflict Resolution Is an Inside Job

My understanding of conflict and how we show up to relationships at home, work or in our communities is that our behaviour is driven by our own thoughts and feelings, which have a huge influence from the past. Yet, in the heat of emotional turmoil, it’s human nature to blame other people for the conflict.

For example, people get excited and are attracted to my Play Nice training program coming to their workplace, because they relate to the fun metaphor, but they think that I’ll somehow fix everyone else.

Here’s the real deal:

The greatest opportunity to resolve conflict is an inside job, meaning it’s your responsibility to work on how you get attached to conflict or how conflict affects you.

The best way to sort through conflict is by going within, because there is only one person that you really have control over and that’s yourself. When you let go of the need to control other people, or circumstances outside your control, you find peace faster.

When you’re honest with yourself and you think about how you are showing up (or not showing up) to conflict situations in your life, you’ll find patterns. (Quite a few of them if you’re willing to eat that humble pie). You’ll realize that you have enough work to do for your own self-mastery. This revelation will also help you understand another foundational sandbox strategy about what you don’t need to focus on because it’s a waste of your energy trying to fix or control other people.

When you’re vulnerable and honest enough to look at a conflict situation and admit “this is mine, and this is mine, and oh my goodness this is so old from my past… etc.” you’ll realize that you have a ton of work to do on yourself.

If you’re willing to just embrace that ‘inner work’ and let other people find their way and do their own work, then you’re at least taking on a job or a responsibility that you can influence and control. That means letting go of everything that’s outside your control.

This is the essence of conflict resolution from the inside out.

The more work you do on yourselves, the more prepared you’ll be to face and embrace things that come up regularly. With a willingness to reflect on what’s yours, and what’s not, you can dig within to understand your own thoughts about conflict and reach a greater sense of well-deserved inner peace. You might ask questions like: Where your conflict is coming from, what’s underneath it, why it triggers you and what it would take to reach inner resolve.

Once you recognize your strengths and weaknesses, and are vulnerable enough to speak about them honestly, and own it, you’ll experience a deeper sense of love and acceptance. I always see incredible results in my work with teams and families when people are doing their own honest digging.

If you can’t find your way, call me because the high emotional cost of conflict, and powerless struggle of trying to control others, is avoidable. Your energy and resources can be used for better things.