kai peter stabell
Owning Your Role in Conflict: A Pathway to Relational Reconciliation
We all experience conflict, but how we handle it is key. It’s easy to become entrenched in our own narrative and point of view, but if we want to move toward resolution and reconciliation, we must first take a step back and consider our role in the conflict. Doing so requires emotional intelligence—the ability to understand our own feelings, empathize with others’ feelings, and regulate emotion for the betterment of all involved. In this blog post, we’ll discuss why it’s important to take ownership of your role in a conflict and how doing so can lead to relational reconciliation.
The first step towards relational reconciliation is making the first move. This means understanding your own role in a conflict. You must ask yourself questions like “What am I doing that is contributing to this conflict?” or “How am I making the situation worse?” This requires self-awareness and self-management—two components of emotional intelligence (EI). Daniel Goleman defines EI as “understanding one’s own feelings, empathy for the feelings of others, and the regulation of emotion in a way that enhances living.” When you reflect on both sides of a conflict—yours AND your opponent's—you are more likely to arrive at an equitable solution that works for everyone involved.
Additionally, owning your role in a conflict involves being aware of potential triggers that may exacerbate the situation further. We all have emotions that can be activated during times of stress or disagreement; being mindful of these can help us stay grounded during times when tensions are high. It also helps if we practice active listening skills such as paraphrasing what has been said back to ensure mutual understanding between parties involved in the conflict. Finally, it is important for us to set boundaries with those who are disagreeing with us; this will help maintain respect and dignity throughout the process which will ultimately lead to healthier relationships after resolution has been reached.
Taking ownership of our role in a conflict is not always easy; however, it is essential if we want meaningful resolution and reconciliation between parties involved. By utilizing emotional intelligence—namely self-awareness and self-management—we can better understand ourselves as well as those we are in disagreement with so that we can work together toward an equitable solution that benefits both sides. With these tips in mind, you are now equipped with the tools you need to start successfully navigate any difficult conversations or disagreements you find yourself in!