Living with conflict

You wander from room to room hunting for the diamond necklace that is already around your neck’
— Rumi

I’m back from my month of holiday during August, well rested and ready for the second half of the calendar year. I’ve had a wonderful break and had lots of thinking and walking time. I have walked a lot – 144 miles to be exact. You may also recall that I now play bass guitar in a band. We have been busy playing – weddings and birthday parties and are now getting ready for the Christmas season of corporate parties/lunches. It is doing wonders for reducing my stress levels.

Onto a story more in line with my day to day activities. Just before I went on my break I had a call from a senior woman who I know from working at her organisation. Her call was to inform me that she had decided to move on from her role. In her words she had ‘had enough’. She described how nearly 3 years of conflict and tension with her boss had taken its toll and she was no longer prepared to devote any more of her life to the situation. It was a rather bold move. As the main bread winner she knew she was going out on a limb. One of her children had just recovered from a serious illness and this this experience had given her a different perspective on life and highlighted what was really important.

It is a familiar story and reminded me of the quote by Henry David Thoreau ‘The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it’. The caller recognised that the trade for her life was not a good one and checked out. None of us are immune from conflict – me included. In fact I recall one personal situation some time ago which took some time to resolve. During the heat of the tension I remember waking up morning after morning and after a few minutes my situation would come flooding back. It wasn’t pleasant at all. Any dreams I had experienced in my sleep quickly evaporated and the reality of my circumstance kicked in. Thankfully, through conversation, my own scenario got resolved.

So, my encouragement to readers is to decline the offer of exchanging time for living with conflict. If you need help, seek it out.

Difficult Conversations Book– 2nd Edition

My new updated Difficult Conversations: 10 Steps to becoming a Tackler not a Dodger handbook comes out on 1st October 2014. I have added a new chapter on Influence and Persuasion and included a series of case studies as self-help guides for readers. Please be in touch to secure your copy.

Finally, particularly for readers in the US and organisations with a presence in the US, I am planning to be in New York during the first week of December. If you would like to book a speaking, training, mediation or coaching slot for some stage during my trip, please let me know.

Have a great month..