Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “Violence is the language of the unheard.” Whether it’s physical violence, verbal violence or more commonly the negative thoughts we have of someone, people become angry when their need to be heard, seen, understood or accepted as they are aren’t met. The unvoiced issue is that people don’t feel safe or respected, and lack trust in relationships where this breakdown occurs.
If there’s no intervention, a conflict will escalate and strain a relationship, business or organization. As time passes without a healthy resolution, the flow of love is restricted, work productivity diminishes, or organizational usefulness is hindered.
Fierce First Step shows how to create safety and trust so conflicting sides can move toward understanding. Understanding shifts anger to openness and leads to compassion--allowing both sides to see each other as human beings, not adversaries. Without compassion, opposing sides look out for their own best interest, and situations devolve into power-struggles, compromise, or appeasement all of which fuel further conflict. It’s not enough to find a solution to the problem because the bad feelings still linger waiting to erupt later.
But compassion isn’t enough to hold people together especially with deep-seated issues. Without an unifying goal, a fragile peace can easily fall apart. However, with a common goal, both parties outgrow past differences, have something to strive for, and need each other in order to attain the shared vision.
Conflicts are scary, stressful, and energy depleting. All too often it seems we only know how to make them worse. But when we can penetrate the heart of a person, magic can occur. Foes become friends, relationships become healthier and stronger, and organizations can flourish.