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Moving with the Flow of Conflict

An old man slipped on a wet rock near the edge of a river rapids and fell in. As onlookers watched in horror, he was swept toward and then over a high waterfall.

There was great joy when he emerged bruised but otherwise unharmed downstream. “How did you manage to survive?” asked one man in the crowd who gathered ’round.

Said the old man, “Instead of trying to make the water accomodate me, I accommodated myself to it. Instead of fighting it, I relaxed into the swirl and allowed it to shape me. I worked with the force of the water instead of against it. That is how I survived.”

Conflict is like the river, fast moving, swirling, forceful, surprising.
If, in your next conflict conversation, you chose to move with the flow of the conflict instead of fighting both the other person and the conflict itself, I wonder what could happen.

In one of Conflict Resolution Commons mini-courses I teach people how to do just that, so they can keep their balance when it matters most. If you haven’t had a chance to listen to an audio excerpt for Keeping Your Cool in Conflict, I hope you will.

Have a listen…and a great weekend!


Tammy Lenski

Dr. Tammy Lenski helps individuals, pairs, teams, and audiences navigate disagreement better, address friction, and build alignment. Her current work centers on creating the conditions for robust collaboration and sound decisions while fostering resilient personal and professional relationships. Her conflict resolution podcast and blog, Disagree Better, are available at… MORE >

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