When conflict arises, slant is always involved. - jennwhitmer.com

May 23, 2019

When conflict arises, slant is always involved.

Your slant is your perspective.

Everyone has a perspective. Perspective is shaped by personality, motivations, experiences, physicality, attention, and more. We all have implicit bias which influences perspective.

I experience the world as a short, white woman from the Midwest, as an enneagram 7 and ENxP who has a lot of travel and education, as someone is usually laughing (too loudly). I figuratively and literally see differently than you. And you see and experience the world differently than I do.

Conflict often arises when perspectives clash.

When faced with multiple versions of events, it’s tempting to think our perspective, thinking, or memory is the correct one, the real truth of what’s happening. Often the other person feels the same about their perspective.

In interpersonal conflict, coming to a resolution requires respecting other views and recognizing the slant of our own.* 

Here are a few practical tools for managing perspectives in a conflict:

Internally:

Take a breath, pause, and ask yourself:

•Could there be more information I don’t have?

•Is this touching on another experience of mine? 

•Do I understand what we’re actually in conflict over?

Externally:

Ask questions and LISTEN to the answers:

•Can you tell me more?

•Can you help me understand your perspective?

•Do we have all the information?

•What I hear you saying is this. Is that what you’re saying?

Clarifying questions bring, well, clarity—especially about another person’s perspective. When asked with integrity and genuine respect for others, these questions slant the road toward resolution.

Want to hear more about conflict resolution? Book me to speak at your event or provide a workshop for your team.

*This does not include abuse. If you are in an abusive relationship, you do not have to work at the other person’s perspective. You are not causing your abuse. Ask for help or call 1-800-799-SAFE.

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