Riding the Wave of Conflict

Welcome back to part 3 on our multi-part series on Larry Dressler’s Standing in the Fire. You may remember in previous installments we began discussing a six-step strategy for facilitating high-conflict meetings. Previously we discussed:

Step 1: Stand with Self-Awareness
Step 2: Stand in the Here and Now
Step 3: Stand with an Open Mind

We’ll move along today to Steps 4 and 5.

Step 4: Know What you Stand For

What it Means
You must have a firm grasp of your purpose(s) in a meeting in order to prevent allowing others to derail you.

What to Do
Ask yourself four questions:

“What am I here to contribute in the world?”
“What principles guide my work?”
“Who am I here for?”
“What does the group want to achieve?”
“What is…and is not…my job in this meeting?”

We use the answers to these questions to help maintain our commitment to open communication and clarity about our purpose throughout the meeting.

Step 5: Dance with Surprises

What it Means
You cannot control everything and everyone. Frankly you can control nothing and no one (other than yourself). With that being said- plans are great, but to force a plan, a conversation, or an action that is not working is foolish. Be flexible and shift gears when necessary. The book calls people who can successfully do so- “wave riders”.

Wave Riders: Curious people possessed of an innate capacity to go with the flow, constantly seizing upon opportunity when others see no possibility, or even disaster.” Harrison Owen

What to Do
Check your need for control at the door. You can do it!

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