I have a saying … Don’t look for the ideas that will confirm your thinking, rather look for the trends that will disrupt your thoughts. The danger is that we will usually revert back to our beliefs, those things that we have been taught and that we think are true or at least true for us. Although we would like things to be different, our belief prevents the possibility of another solution and causes us to react the same way as we have previously. Einstein defines doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting a different result as insanity.
The only solution is to think differently and if we truly are different we will get more done, but at the same time that will cause us to be in conflict with those around us. Now you can see how difficult it is to be different as most of us try to avoid conflict rather than run head first into it. I would like you to think and ask yourself is this what everyone else will be doing, will they be trying to avoid conflict at all costs? The answer is probably yes and you can predict and understand what all the others are doing and most likely what they are going to do. This is where your greatest opportunity is, can you see it?
The next step is for you to understand that you cannot be the proverbial bull in the china shop, you need to use wisdom and approach people carefully, remember you are thinking differently from them, they will not expect you to be different, but when they do realise you are different – you will immediately be in conflict with them.
When our ideas are different and when we share these ideas with others we are challenging the status quo and the last thing people want to do is change. We should realise that everything we do in life is about manipulation, therefore the potential for conflict is always high.
Here comes the conflict …
Your idea whatever it is will be challenged by others. Usually this happens, not because your idea is bad, but because it challenges the belief of others and they will resist change wherever possible. Then will defend their belief at all costs, some people feel vulnerable and threatened by a new idea. Sometimes it is because they don’t like change and in other instances it is because they think they should have come up with the idea – especially if they are the boss.
How to handle the conflict
- Decide to be kind – when you have a choice to be right or kind, always choose to be kind. You will never really know what being kind will do for you.
- Give up your need to be right – my way or the highway never works, you will accomplish so much more and you will be at peace with others when you give up your need to be right.
- Stop screaming and … Start Listening – in a emotional context the opposite of listening is screaming, when you have decided to give up your need to be right, you will stop screaming and start listening to the needs of others.
- Listen and use the power of suggestion – now that you have decided to listen, firstly you need to make a decision to listen beautifully to others you can begin to get your own way. Yes you are wondering if I just went off topic, but no the fact of the matter is that when you allow others to do most of the talking (around 90%) and you only listen (speaking less than 10%), When the other person is doing most of the talking, any idea you share with the other person will be seen as there idea and not yours. Subtle suggestion can also be used to manipulate others into seeing things your way, Then the big challenge is can you actually give up your need to be right?
- Always check if it is advice or truth they are seeking – one of the major contributors to conflict in our lives is our need to be truthful. We should remember that not everyone wants to hear the truth, I am not saying we should be dishonest but we need to listen very carefully when it comes to advice and truth. When someone asks you for advice, that is exactly what they are asking for ‘advice’. When someone asks for advice they are actually asking you to tell them what they already believe to be right for them. If however they ask for your honest opinion, first check if they want the truth or not? They don’t usually want the truth, they want your opinion to align with theirs. Listen carefully and approach any truth with the utmost caution, as we all have different truths.
Emotional Intelligence vs Conscious Awareness
Emotional Intelligence or EQ as it is known suggests a level which can be attained, however no one can say they are emotionally intelligent as then they have not given up the need to be right, which is one of the keys to being emotionally intelligent. Therefore the term conscious awareness is far more accurate as you need to be aware and ready for whatever life throws at you, that probably means that you are always ready to think first before reacting. Something that is vital in today’s fast paced world.
The Power of Vulnerability
We are social creatures and connection gives us purpose and meaning in life. When we think of vulnerability, we often think of being disconnected and, of the shame that comes from being disconnected from the environment where we feel most secure. We worry that we will not be worthy of love and connection and that is what makes us feel vulnerable.
However this is just a part of vulnerability, and the other side of vulnerability is what makes us beautiful and unique – it is the willingness to try something unique that has no guarantee.
Be aware that when others notice you in what they think is your vulnerable state they will often try attack you, as you have the courage to be different and the way you embrace your uniqueness will cause them to be insecure. They will try control you into becoming predictable for them so that you can be less like you and more like them. But as long as you notice that they are noticing your vulnerability you have the power, when you decide to become who they want you to be, you will experience the vulnerability that disconnection brings, not because you will be disconnected, but rather because you have disconnected from your true self.
Be thankful for your vulnerability and discover more of yourself, allow yourself to be seen for who you are and love those around you. Believe your are enough and let that be your truth.