Conflict Resolution :: Close with Care for the Relationship

strengths finder close with care conflict resolution

Whether you end up with a truly restorative, peaceful resolution, or you fall short, there is huge benefit and integrity to be built by closing with care for the relationship.

Here’s the thing in conflict. It doesn’t always get completely resolved. You don’t always feel 100% restored, especially at work.

At home, well, you keep trying and forgive more deeply {and more regularly}, so that nothing can wedge itself between you and your most important relationships.

No matter the extent of the disagreement, each of you still bring something unique to the table and to your relationship—at work or at home. Acknowledgement and care for this truth sets you up for deeper, more productive, more thriving connections with the people around you.

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Care For the Uniqueness

A friend of mine gave our family a children’s book for Christmas two years ago. I read it to anyone who will listen.

In his book, Red: A Crayon’s Story, Michael Hall tells the story of a crayon born with a red label. No matter how hard he tries to draw a fire engine or a strawberry or a fire ant, however, the only color he produces is blue. His intelligence is questioned by his authorities, he’s given humiliating corrections by his family members, and he is snickered at by his peers. Until, one day, one bold crayon recognizes his brilliance and asks him to color the sea. So ashamed, he’s sure he cannot, but with her support and cheerful encouragement, he tries. What he discovers frees him. He draws what he is made for—blueberries and wide open blue skies. He comes alive and finds his beautiful purpose within. Though they all say he’s red, he was born to be blue.

Attention to and care for the uniqueness of the people around us is freeing—both to them and to us. As we support talent and help people develop their strengths, we allow them to offer their best to world, instead of leaving them in a cycle of frustration, self-critique, and even shame.

I am the first to admit that this does not come natural to me.

David can attest to the fact that I do not dole out encouragement easily. My perfectionism lens sees imperfections more readily than successes or potential.

It has been the Strengths-perspective that has truly reoriented my mind to see the uniqueness and brilliance in each person—even those with whom I have conflict.

Care with a High Standard

I recently heard Jimmy Carter say that there is not anyone he hates. Instead, he said, he tries to live by the teaching to “love your enemies.”

This is arguably a high if not impossible standard to humanly keep.

Yet, what if we approached every conflict as not just a conflict, but as a person, and every person as someone’s child? What would that change?

For me, it changes everything.

This true care would transform our world. If we saw each person uniquely, with care and value. Of course, with flaws like the rest of us, but each unique with a unique part to play.

In our family and house with three sisters, my dad was known for regularly quoting an ancient Proverb:

A gentle answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger.

No matter how the conflict conversation is progressing, we care for others by responding gently, even in the face of anger. And we do so so much more easily when we view them as unique and valuable.

It’s a high standard with fruitful, peace-oriented rewards.

StrengthsFinder Communication Resource

Close with Care in Affirmation

At a recent workshop I facilitated, I reminded the group that humans require 5 positive interactions for every one negative interaction, in order to feel positive and engaged. {from the Gottman Institute}

Whether your conflict is resolving as you had hoped or has room to grow, as you close out your conversation(s), I encourage you to add to the 5 positive interactions—with a specific, personal affirmation.

Not only does this encourage {and perhaps even surprise} the other person, it also works to significantly reorient your mind to the positive about the person as well. In conflict, the positive gets swallowed up by the negative. Add to the positive with intentional care for him/her.

Your StrengthsFinder Top 5 Strengths create an effective, simple path to providing this type of specific affirmation. Choose one, identify where you have seen it being used for good, and talk about it. As challenging as that is if the conflict remains unsettled, you will both be better off for it, and so will your conflict.

Close with care for the relationship to surprise the other person, encourage yourself, and set up for greater success in the journey of conflict resolution.



Links & Resources from today

Also catch the Conflict Resolution series on Audio + Video, on the Isogo TV Podcast, Episodes 62-67 {with added resources}!
Discover your Top 5 Strengths with StrengthsFinder + Strengths Startup
What is the Strengths Perspective? :: Speed Reading Study Explained Better Than Ever
ITV 23 | The MOST Effective Communication Strategies {That Really Get Through!}
Conflict Resolution :: Bring Someone Else Along
Conflict Resolution :: You Are Ready for Respectful, Private Confrontation
Conflict Resolution :: Inspect Your Own Heart First
Conflict Resolution :: Perception Frustration + What to Do About It
Conflict Resolution :: Influence of Emotional Templates
9 Steps to Life-change {FREE Checklist}
{9 Steps} to Life Change through your StrengthsFinder Top 5 Strengths
Red: A Crayon’s Story
The Gottman Institute


The Strengths-perspective can impact your marriage, your parenting, and your work!

If you’re into it or you’re just not so sure about it all, reach out, and let’s connect about it. You can catch me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, all at @isogostrong, by this handy contact form, or in our Energy Up Frustration Down facebook group.

Enjoy your day, and {be strong}!

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