It’s unlikely that we think about what we look like when we are in conflict or, how our body and facial language might contribute to the dynamics! On reflection – we may be able to describe what we think our demeanour was, the look on our face, our body movements, and how we acted at these times. Thinking about all this inspired some questions for this week’s Conflict Mastery Quest(ions) blog. I began thinking that an interesting way of examining how we engage in conflict is to consider if we are able to ‘see’ ourselves through someone else’s eyes and what impact that may have.
The line of inquiry here works well if you think about the conflictual exchange between you and another person. After getting that interaction into your consciousness, I suggest you envision that a close and caring friend, family member, colleague or other special person observed you in that interaction. Here are some questions to facilitate the process of looking at yourself figuratively and literally.
- How did you act in that incident that you would feel embarrassed about if observed by an observer or observers whom you respect?
- How may they describe how you looked?
- What do you think the other person in your dispute experienced about how you looked or acted that was most off-putting for them?
- What might your observers be most surprised at about your facial or body language considering how they know you?
- What would the friends, etc. support and applaud about what you said or did?
- What sorts of things did they observe as possible ways you contributed to the escalation with your facial or body language or otherwise?
- What pieces of advice may they suggest as some other ways you could have been in that interaction to deescalate rather than escalate matters?
- What part of the suggestion(s) do you agree with and why? What part of the suggestion(s) does not resonate and why?
- Thinking about it now, what did you see in yourself (characteristics, attitude, body language, etc.) that is not the person you want to be when you are in conflict?
- What words better describe how you want to be and be seen in conflict?
- What else occurs to you as you consider these questions?
- What insights do you have?