In the book, The Road Less Traveled, by M. Scott Peck, he writes, “The overall purpose of human communication is, or should be, reconciliation. It should ultimately serve to lower or remove the walls of misunderstanding which unduly separate us human beings, one from another.”
To reconcile means to restore friendly relations between and to cause to coexist in harmony. It also means to make or show to be compatible. The desire to reconcile conflict between individuals within organizations is a skill, not a personality. Reconciliation and conflict management requires the individual take responsibility for their own emotions and gain control of themselves. An individual in control of themselves is able to express greater freedom by displaying openness, greater flexibility, and will continually seek to be kind. This individual is a leader, a conflict manager, and a problem solver.
A skilled conflict manager will approach disagreement and discord, lack of productivity, and other performance management issues with respect and dignity, in a manner that seeks to understand. Leaders without these skills many times see conflict incorrectly as a threat and as dangerous. They will see distance between their wishes and others’ view as a frightening display of defiance and deviation. Defensively, angrily, and with fear and anxiety, these unskilled leaders will use confrontation to the area of conflict and be perceived as confrontational. Confrontational is displaying eagerness to fight. Confrontational leaders deal with others in a hostile manner and appear argumentative. Confrontational leaders lack insight and awareness, therefore they are problem centered, not solution oriented. Leaders engaging in confrontational behavior demonstrate, by their actions, lack of relationship and inability to relate to others in a positive, trusting, and mutually beneficial manner. They are not open. They are inflexible, and they are not kind when faced with disagreement or even general inquiry during discovery.
In a world that has become problem centered, more than ever we need leaders skilled in conflict management and in the art of reconciliation. This is how we can lower and remove the walls of misunderstanding separating us from mutual gain and clear focus on the greater good. -The Winning Way™