Savoir-vivre of conflict

Reflections from a mediation workshop

Table of contents

Do you know which action you start and end each day of your life? There is a situation in which you are forced to choose and, therefore, take decisions. This situation, which repeats many times each day, is conflict. It may concern needs, resources, interests, values or relations. It is worth making yourself aware of how important the process of conflict is in our lives, what an inseparable element of shaping ourselves it is, as well as our relations with others.

In this article, as a mediator, I will share some thoughts connected with how to effectively handle disputes and how to resolve conflicts, thereby making them effective tools of management.

To know how…

The expression savoir-vivre in its strict definition refers to the collection of rules defining the forms of suitable behaviour in social situations. Most of us associate this with the rules of courtesy in a given group which, taking into consideration the cultural context, become an art of living in accordance with yourself and others.

If we regard conflict as an inseparable element of our lives, both privately and professionally, learning and following good customs and practices in this area during daily situations turns out to be very important.

Conflict is a process of getting to know yourself and others…

Savoir-vivre konfliktu
Each social situation is a special opportunity to activate your potential in the area of inter-personal skills. Meetings, discussions, mutual persuasion and conflicting emotions become areas for shaping your own personality and social skills. During conflict, where the world of our interests, values and needs collides with the world of another person, the process of mutual influence becomes more intensive. The first rule and good practice that applies during conflict is to be open and ready to get to know yourself and your partners in given relations.

Following this gives us a better view of the situation, allows us to make a more accurate diagnosis, and therefore prepare a strategy more accurately.

Conflict is an opportunity…

The next very important element of building one’s own strategy for dealing with conflict is to redefine the understanding of situations in which it appears. Cultural conditioning most frequently assigns conflict, unfortunately, to the catalogue of threats and burdens in social relations. That is also the most common form of perception. Undoubtedly, reversing this tendency and looking at conflict as an opportunity and added value to each social relation turns out to be more functional. The second rule and good practice is to define conflict as an opportunity and chance to create a new quality in our relations.
Konflikt to szansa

This encourages the conflicting parties to mutually define objectives and to focus on what links them and not what divides them.

Conflict is an area for discussion…

Conflict as a collision between two, potentially very different, personalities, needs, interests or values, often leads to the conflicting parties going their separate ways. Whether this is intuitive, subconscious or conscious, feuding parties stop talking to each other, don’t listen when the other one tries to enter into dialogue, and simply stop communicating. In this way, they fall into the most frequent trap during conflict, in other words, communication abstinence. Because conflict is a process in which presenting, negotiating and agreeing on mutual solutions is important, communication becomes a necessary foundation for achieving an understanding.

The third rule and good practice, therefore, is the active exchange of opinions, based on the tools of effective communication and respect towards the other person.

In the next article, I will present more rules and good practices during conflict, designating in this way the construction of effective strategies to resolve disputes. I encourage you to think about the three rules mentioned above, about how much we use them and how they influence the effectiveness of our actions.

Błażej Pasiut

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