Overcast conditions make it impossible to appreciate the splendour of blue skies during the day and the magnificence of the stars at night. I think it is even possible to forget that the blue sky and the stars are there, when all we can see are clouds. For those people lucky enough to have flown on an overcast day, realising that above the clouds the blue sky is ever present can be a reassuring experience.
Conflict is something that impacts our daily lives. Conflict resolution is thus a handy skill to master. A suggestion I have for people dealing with conflict is to have mechanisms in place to prevent the issue from becoming ‘clouded’ over or obscured.
Keep a clear focus on the issue at hand
This is easier said than done due to the fact that the done part requires doing when things are potentially at their most hostile. Hostility invariably lowers the average level of intellect and when we become stupid we don’t do intelligent things. Keeping a clear focus on the issue at hand is one such intelligent thing.
We cloud issues when we:
‘Cut and Paste’ – adding other areas of disagreement into the current discussion.
‘Copy’ – that moment when people say – “you do the same when ……, so?”
‘Select All’ – bringing up every past disagreement.
‘Edit’ – don’t deal with the facts and allow for the basis to be solely opinion based.
‘Close File’ – not wanting to resolve one thing before another is solved.
‘Not Saving Changes’ – bringing up past conflicts prior to the point of the resolution reached then.
There are probably many more ways to cloud issues. The awareness required to avoid not maintaining a clear view is two-fold:
- Recognise the triggers (can you think of more ways than those listed above?).
- Get above the clouds.
Getting above the clouds is the real challenge
It unfortunately requires an effort from both parties and if this effort is not forthcoming from both simultaneously, I am reluctant to have to say, walk away and wait for the clouds to dissipate. They may never. When they don’t, a climate change may be necessary. In parts of the world that are without sunny days, people are simply not as buoyant. Sunshine brings hope, growth and warmth. If you are wanting to feel the sun while living in a permanently cloudy place, staying becomes illogical. Some tough decisions may be required.
The advice I am offering is: prepare yourself for rainy days.
Practice the skills necessary, while the sun shines, to be better prepared for the times when it does not.
Know the triggers and their impact.
Walk away; take shelter if required.
Lastly, know what makes you happy.
Do you live or work in a place where the sun shines enough?
By Louis Gerke
Development Facilitator – The Ripple Effect
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