'How can differences turn into conflict?'
Based on Robert R. Stains, Essential Partners
When differences threaten our deepest passion and identities,
the likely results are:
When communication becomes destructive,
the LIKELY PATTERNS are:
Narrowed perception: rigid thinking and self reinforcing logic
Narrowed memory: seeing the other’s ‘bad’ and our ‘good’
Narrowed reasoning: slogans, generalizations, and stereotypes
When destructive communication patterns are reinforced,
the LIKELY RESULTS are:
Limited Exposure: We withdraw into bubbles to feel safe.
Limited Process: We reason issues only within our ‘In-Group.’
Limited Connection: We dismiss or demean the ‘Out-Group.’
Separated into camps of the like minded, we strengthen polarization.
At the same time, we weaken our human qualities such as
Empathy and Critical Reflection.
In conflict, we are invited and challenged to create
a communication process that helps us to:
Perceive more accurately
Remember more completely
Communicate more effectively
In effective communication, in the midst of conflict
we are challenged to:
Risk and increase curiosity
Initiate and deepen connection
Be willing to open up to the Other
To reduce polarization, we need to do the inner work
to see the other as a complete human being.