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Confession - I don't like conflict

Imagine this... you're with a group of friends on a day out, somewhere unknown, and along comes the moment that you all need to eat. What seems to happen with my friends is a series of unconnected questions and statements bounce around the group:

  • ' Who fancies what?' gets answered by 'I don't want to spend too long eating'

  • ' What's the budget?' triggers 'Not much, I'll just pay for what I eat'

  • ' How about there?' prompts 'I'd like a salad'

Ok, so it's not conflict but it is uncertainty and if the matter at hand were more serious it could turn to conflict (always be wary of a friend in need of food!). My best case scenario is always to end this as soon as possible and get it closed down. I have several strategies for this:

  1. plan in advance to stop it from happening in the first place, otherwise known as telling everyone how it's going to be

  2. have researched the place in advance and have an encyclopoedic knowledge of eateries at different speeds, prices and cuisines at my fingertips to wow the group

  3. in the moment, step back and away from the conversation and go with the flow

My learnt behaviour has been to organise EVERYTHING or step away if there is uncertainty. Over the last year, I have been going though an action inquiry process of experimentation and reflection and this pattern came into focus. Now when I notice myself going into organisation mode, I wonder where there is uncertainty. I question what fear I am connecting to that uncertainty and what expectation I have become fixed to. My friends are amazed by how much I've relaxed and although they sometimes ask for a little bit more organisation, it has changed how I feel. The process of deepening awareness of what is actually happening, gives space for change to happen without the need to force it.

What do you do in groups when there is uncertainty? What is the question that you would like to explore through a process of action inquiry? I'd love to hear about your experiences.

#coaching #uncertainty #conflict #control

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