torsdag 3 augusti 2017

Swedes are said to be extremely afraid of conflicts.

Illustration by Viveca Lammers
It is not possible to get rid of all conflicts because they are there all the time, but mostly they are so small that we just don´t care about them so much. If we have different opinions about something we often quickly talk about something else because we want to ”avoid conflict”. Especially in Sweden. 

"In its more destructive forms, the need to avoid conflict also manifests itself as a strong reluctance to be direct, or even indirectly honest, with someone."  Läs mer...

" be able to communicate with Swedes in a successful way, there are a few things you probably need to know. One of them is the fact that people from Sweden usually tries to avoid disagreement at almost all costs."  Läs mer...

There are two ways of getting rid of a conflict. One way is to pretend that it doesn´t exist or to stop talking about it and the opposite way is to get curious and start investigating what the conflict is about. And learn something from it! 

Most people don´t dare to do that because there is a risk that if we talk more about ”this subject” the conflict will get bigger and end with anger, tears and a broken relation. We have collectively decided that conflicts are negative and for this reason we have to avoid them. We must avoid everything that is negative! Make love not war! Only think about positive things like flowers, sunsets, good food, fine wine and sweet little kittens! But conflicts can also be thought of as something positive. It just depends on how curious we are and what kind of approach we choose.

But what is a conflict? It can be two people having different opinions about something. The quarrelling is often about who is right and who is wrong. To discuss ”how it is” is usually just leading to higher and higher voices and more stress and anger and of course it feels like being on a negative path. The conflict has become negative and destructive, but in the beginning we could have chosen to turn it into a creative conflict. A little mental adventure.

That sounds good, but in some cases it can be difficult without a Talking Stick, because the stick makes it very clear who is speaking and who is listening. You cannot interrupt the other person by screaming ”Dont´t interrupt me!” (Yes, it happens!) 

The stick slows down the tempo and then the lower brain loses the power and the higher brain gets a chance. So now, why not just take a close look at the roots of the conflict? What is it made of? Here is a possibility to find out what it is that calls for our attention like a little child in danger.

I don´t mean that we should create conflicts just for the fun of solving them. But if they are already there we can treat them better than just pretending that they do not exists (if there is a negative feeling from this suppression the subconscious mind will store it till it gets solved and dissolved.)

Dale puts emphasis on not getting emotional in a conflict. (14:55) You must control your emotions so that we can have (our controlled) conflict without emotions.

A Talking Stick is saying the opposite: ”Please, take contact with your emotions and tell us what you really feel!” The idea is that when the emotions are no longer pushed back, when they are being expressed and listened to, they can relax and stop fighting.

The difference is that Dale is creating a discussion where different people are promoting and defending opposite ideas, like in a court, and he calls it conflict.

Solving an emotional conflict is not the same as setting up a court room for decision making.

His idea about creating a "conflict" to get better results in decision making seems to be a more creative method than the Swedish method of "alla ska tycka likadant". 

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