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  • Jolene Roehlkepartain

Creative Conflict

How often have you experienced creative conflict? Creative conflict leads to new solutions where all sides can see the benefits.

Rarely does this happen, particularly in this climate. Instead, conflict has become more about abusive, I’m-going-to-get-my-way-no-matter-what action rather than working toward making things better.

Before we can have creative conflict, however, we need to express healthy anger:

Be authentic—Anger typically signifies an injustice or an unmet need or desire. How can you authentically express what needs to change without turning your angry feelings on yourself or by blaming, shaming, or attacking others?

Emphasize dialogue—Abusive anger is one sided. Healthy anger is two sided. Healthy anger values the relationship and works on ways to listen to each other.

Seek mutual transformation—Resolving conflicts creatively involve all sides transforming. It’s not about a winning side and other sides losing. It’s about all parties making changes to make things better.

“The angry person moves toward the other,” writes David Richo, the author of Triggers: How We Can Stop Reaching and Start Healing. “That is why anger can coexist with love but abuse cannot.”

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