What is conflict?
Conflict is universal. It’s something we all face in our personal and our professional lives. It’s something we all face in training and development. Show me a trainer who hasn’t faced a conflict and I’ll show you a moon made out of mocha.
All conflicts have three balls. The balls are different sizes in relation to each other, depending both on the particular conflict and depending on you.
How big are your balls?
Ball number one: Anxiety
All conflict produces some level of anxiety for the conflictees. For some, given the choice between facing a conflict head on or having a Brazilian wax, they choose the latter. For some the idea of getting up in front of a group to teach a workshop means having smelling salts (or today’s version, Rescue Remedy) handy. In both cases the anxiety ball is BIG.
Others are known as sh$t disturbers – in fact they’ll provoke a debate for the rush it gives them. For some the idea of getting up in front of a group to teach is a thrill, a distinct pleasure. In both cases the anxiety ball is small.
Ball number two: Suck
All conflict involves stuff we don’t like, things we’d rather not do. Some people have a tremendous ability to hoc pati filias regis (Latin for ‘suck it up princess). Others have little ability to face what they’d prefer to avoid.
A conflict may involve a morass of mess – working with an entire group of training participants who are there against their will and who are not happy about it. Or in the case of my friend & colleague Dyana Valentine, showing up recently to speak to 500 conference participants and realizing 15 minutes before taking the stage that the organizers copied the wrong handouts. In this case the suck ball is BIG.
A conflict can also involve minor irritants – like a slightly cold workshop room, starting a couple of minutes late etc. In this case the suck ball is small.
Ball number three: WIIFM
Ahh the taste of personal motivation. In every conflict our brains seek out ‘what’s in it for me’ (WIIFM). Sometimes it’s not about the anxiety it’s about there not being enough in it for me.
Your answer(s) to the above questions will decree what size your WIIFM ball is. Big motivation = big ball. Little or no motivation = small ball.
Next time you face a conflict consider what size your balls are. They can be a handful (or a mouthful).
What is conflict? Look to your balls to tell you.
Hats off to the fantastic team at Cameray for this concept.