WorkTraits: Identity and Conflict Resolution Pt. 1

By Mark Vickers, Ph.D.

There are 3 steps to resolving this type of conflict.

First, ask yourself how the person with whom you are in conflict is keeping you from your current or desired identity. Are they taking your authority? Do they take credit for your achievements? Once you have clearly defined how your identity is affected you are able to begin the resolution process. Most people don’t get past this step. In fact, most people don’t take the time to ask themselves about their identity at all and so never are able to accurately see why the conflict exists.

Second, ask yourself how the emotion from the conflict is affecting you. Does the emotion tell you something about yourself? Is the emotion paralyzing? Is the emotion leading you to want to resolve the conflict? Being truthful about emotion will enable you to understand more about why your identity is important and how a change in identity affects your behavior.

Third, ask yourself if you have the power to change the situation or resolve the conflict. Is it within your power to change anything? If you change something will it help you? if you change something, will it hurt someone else? If you are honest, these questions will give you the roadmap for resolution.

In my next post, I will share an example of how all three steps were taken in conflict resolution.


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