Episode 14: Curiosity in Conflict

Being armed with the right skills is critical to face conflict without creating even more hurt feelings. Lane Sherman is an expert mediator and author who has focused his career on making functioning teams and fixing broken ones. His first book, The Keys to Collaboration released in 2015 and was the result of more than 20 years of industry experience.

Despite this passion for heated situations, Lane remains calm in the most turbulent of environments. In this episode he discusses how elements as simple as communication and honesty can build trust and esteem among colleagues and teammates.

Lane Laughing

He also dives into what is causing conflicts among the most driven of us and talks about how structure can serve to take some of the sting out of a bad situation. The insights for those type A’s among us come when he dives into the subject of the right way to get something done.

…most of the type A people that I come into contact with believe absolutely that they are right. That the way that they are suggesting or the way that they believe the team should go is the correct way to do it. And there is no other right way. That is the right way. And so often the breakthrough for those people comes when they begin to realise that there is no single right way…

Working with teams and groups requires us to focus our attention to the final outputs and how we hope to create things across different resource sets. Most importantly for us as individuals is the ability to spend time reflecting on our own actions and how we respond to those around us. It requires our actions to be looked back on with a critical eye as “more often than not the bully did not see themselves as a bully”. While we all want to be the hero in our own story, we need to be cognisant of who we are in the drama triangle. We can’t all be the hero or the victim or there would be nobody left to be the villain.

Regardless of the scenario, Lane tells us that most conflicts can be resolved if we put our hurt feelings away for a time and focus instead on being curious about how other people are facing issues. Investing the time in understanding another person’s perspective will only serve to increase trust and offer a chance for them to become more open to the best ways to resolve issues and move forward.

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