Conscious communication creates more clarity and understanding
Sometimes I share about my work in the form of case studies because I want to show the range of conflict work that’s possible and also highlight the gifts of conflict transformation, in this case, addressing power consciously with clear and compassionate conversations.
Lauren came to me on behalf of her company, Emerald Strategies, extremely worried about the deterioration of her relationship with her business partner. Their conflict was negatively affecting the culture in her workplace and the morale of her existing team. She was exhausted and disempowered by the uneven power balance between them. She didn’t know how to proceed in resolving their dispute around decision-making and what form their collaboration should take.
As a single-parent and homeowner, her work anxieties were beginning to follow her home and affect her personally. She wanted to avoid a court battle at all costs but had no other ideas about how to resolve the issue. She badly wanted a solution that would give her hope and sense of empowerment.
Over a few months, we worked together through regular weekly calls and additional support via email and voice message to develop two important things:
1) A wisely-chosen strategy for how to engage her business partner and de-escalate the conflict. She learnt to protect her interests, speak to her counterpart in a more effective way with less drama, and advocate for a fair and re-humanizing dialogue process between them – without getting the lawyers involved.
Her work paid off: they repaired their relationship in ways that exceeded her expectations, and brokered a new working relationship between them that better utilized their respective zones of genius and, as a result, supported a thriving ongoing collaboration. Additionally, it relieved much of the pressure on her team of employees, who became more free and creative as a result of the better, safer working environment.
2) Conflict and negotiation coaching gave her the chance she needed to learn more deeply about herself and how her conflict avoidance patterns were keeping her stuck across the board. The transformation of these patterns in our time together brought benefit to multiple aspects of her life, including in her personal relationships, where she found greater fulfillment and joy.