Transforming Conflict into Connection

  • Inner conflict happens when we are disconnected from ourselves
  • Interpersonal conflict occurs when we are disconnected from ourselves and from others
  • Group conflict exists when we are disconnected from others and from our shared vision
  • Passivity or pretending to be neutral or “objective”
  • People pleasing, including withholding opinions, keeping secrets or telling half-truths
  • Only looking at the “bright side”
  • Only looking at similarities, often recognizing groups instead of individuals
  • Looking for quick fixes, permanent solutions or “cures”
  • Silos and echo chambers — surrounding ourselves (consciously or unconsciously) with those who are “like us”
  • Pointing out differences in a way that implies that they are bad, believing there is a “right” and a “wrong”
  • Arguing, interrupting, or speaking over others
  • Complaining, gossiping, or talking about how bad/wrong “they” are
  • Believing in inherent doom or “damnation”
  • Refusing to listen, especially when what’s being said makes us feel uncomfortable
  • “Explaining” or “educating” without taking into account the needs and perspectives of the listener
  • Listening to understand instead of to be understood, thus indicating that we are willing to fully participate in an informed discussion
  • Noticing differences and admitting where we may be biased or rigid
  • Valuing all experiences, perspectives and strengths (not just saying we do) by seeking out and surrounding ourselves with those who are different from and even disagree with us
  • Recognizing, naming, allowing, and attending to our feelings and needs
  • Making polite requests and accepting responsibility for co-creating mutually-beneficial solutions
  • Allowing others to change or grow at their own preference and pace
  • When we feel like a powerless, wounded, vulnerable “victim,” we must save ourselves and become a “creator” of new solutions and outcomes
  • When we act like a manipulative, aggressive “persecutor,” we must learn ourselves and become a “challenger” who builds others up
  • When we react like a heroic, arrogant martyr or “rescuer,” we must empower and care for ourselves and become a “coach” who encourages others to develop their own solutions
  • that our needs are never in competition with one another, that we can all get our needs met
  • that each of us is doing the very best we can given our current resources and capacities
  • that our work together will never be flawless nor finished but it is always worthwhile



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Lydia Hooper

Lydia Hooper

Humanity-centered information designer & facilitator. Author. Creator of 40 day #listening challenge.