The Beauty of Conflict


TED Talk by Clair Canfield

Common metaphors for conflicts are

war or the plague.


Our metaphors matter immensely,

because they influence how we think and feel about conflict.


For example, if we think conflict is the plague,

we will naturally try to avoid it and the people related to it.


What if conflict is not the stalemate of a problem,

but the invitation to a solution?


What if it is not only challenging,

but also full of beautiful potential?


What if it has incredible power to transform us personally

and the world we live in?


It can be difficult to change our experience of conflict.


1. Recognize what the conflict is really about

                                                (e.g. external details or internal values)

It means that we must learn to look at conflict differently.

There are three key steps towards that shift:


2. Recognize when you are stuck

                                                    (e.g. believing you are blameless)

3. Learn the art of speaking responsibly

                                                    (e.g. with care and consideration)


The Art of Speaking responsibly requires V O C A B:

V-ulnerability: being authentic with your feelings

O-wnership: being accountable with your contributions

C-ommunication: ask openly, listen actively, express caringly

A-cceptance: embrace the painful reality of the situation

B-oundaries: create ground rules for creating safe behaviour

    We can practice this new VOCAB like learning a new language.

"Conflict is a doorway

Clair Canfield

for creating the change we want in our life."


By crossingborderseducation


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