“Out beyond ideas of wrong doing and right doing there is a field. I will meet you there.” Sufi Poe
Today I saw a blog post that caused a bit of a sting and I realized I still have some ego energy. That’s OK. I also have my integrity and I have the relationship. Let me tell you my story. I bet you have had a similar situation.
I had raised an observation to a business colleague several months ago and their response was not what I expected. Fearing that I might “ruffle feathers” and thinking “oh, it is no big deal” I let it go. Then the unresolved situation came up again and all my same feelings of frustration and doubt came rushing back. I knew I needed to face my fear of a longer conversation.
What do you do when you are faced with a difference of opinion? How do you handle the challenge that comes when what you know to be “true” is different from what someone else knows to be” true”? We face this challenge everyday in some form or another. When difference exist between two friends, in our family, or between close professional colleagues it can be scary. Some of us will be silent. Some of us will argue. Some of us will look to find compromise.
In my case I knew my energy had shifted; silence was no longer an option and arguing is not my style. So it seemed my approach was going to be one of compromise. But, I found myself asking; compromise on what?
I asked for some coaching and then I played with new ideas on how to approach the conversation. It was my training in energy leadership that encouraged and allowed me to find another approach. We do not need to let victim energy keep us silent. We do not need to bring conflict to the conversation. We may even move beyond accepting that we must compromise. How? I decided it was about finding our common interest.
Consider these definitions as you think about a challenging conversation you face.
Compromise – a settlement of differences by mutual concessions; an agreement reached by adjustment of conflicting or opposing claims, principles, etc., The conflicting parties agreed to compromise.
Common – belonging equally to, or shared alike by, two or more or all in question: common property; common interest, common knowledge.
Interest – concern; importance: a matter of primary interest. Or the like in which a person has a share, concern, responsibility, etc.
It is not to say that silence, a good argument and compromise are bad strategies. In fact I believe there are times when these may be well spent energy. But, when I considered the desired outcome of staying in relationship, finding common interest or common ground seemed liked an approach worth trying.
Understanding our common interest or our common ground is not easy. It starts with giving time to understand fully all the points of view. In addition to being willing and able to articulate our point of view clearly and fully, we will be asked to be ready to fully listen to other points view. Then beyond understanding what is “true” for each party, it is allowing for more than one “true” to exist. It is looking for the common “Truth”. This is where together in relationship we take the next steps forward.
I had the conversation. My colleague and I found understanding, a place of common interest and we were able to discuss how we would move forward. Is it perfect? No. My ego would still like a “Win”. However, I believe the way we bring completions does impact our energy, our relationships and how we will open the next opportunity. Finding common ground allows for a good foundation.
If a challenging conversation, a strained relationship or an active ego is keeping you from playing your best game I am ready to listen. Together let’s get you back to joyfully playing as your most authentic self.