The Simple Key to Managing Conflict

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It’s inevitable that you will deal with conflict in your workplace, home, community and anywhere else where you have a relationship with another person. And most of the time, the Filipino mentality kicks in – people gossip about the conflict, tell everyone else about it – except the person involved.

So it just gets bigger and bigger, and more people get involved, and the small spark of misunderstanding between two people becomes a huge forest fire.

Having five kids has taught me the best way to manage conflict. The older four get into misunderstandings, fights and tampuhan almost on a daily basis, and the best solution is the following: WORK IT OUT.

When one, two or all come running to me with what happened, I listen to their sides / stories, then tell them to work it out. If they are fighting over a toy, then they need to work out the arrangement of who gets to play with that toy, or else the toy gets taken away. It has been working. And the usual end result is that they end up sharing and play becomes even more fun for them.

That can definitely be put to good use with us adults as well. Work it out! If the cause of conflict is driving a wedge between you, work it out! Share! Or that wedge should be taken away from both of you by a higher authority.

It is so easy to share. No wait, it isn’t easy to share. Because it takes a dying to oneself. It takes wanting what is best for the other – while the other wants the best for you as well. It is not selfish at all, and looks to the good of others, because doing good for them will end up helping yourself as well.

My kids are learning that on an almost daily basis. It is funny though that we adults forget it when we “mature.” We should definitely go back to the simplicity of sharing, loving others and wanting what is best for them. And if they are the same, then awesome. It will make the world a better place.

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