To be human is to have conflict with other people. You cannot avoid it. Conflict can cause stress, as well as a host of other consequences, such as loss of sleep and even physical illness. But if you’ve had a difficult relationship, you come to realise that just ignoring it is often not the best way to handle it. So how can conflict be a means to growth and getting closer to others rather than being driven further apart? Is that even a possiblity for the difficult relationship in your own life?

On this podcast I have the privilege of talking to Linda Outka about her book, “Pebbles In My Shoe- Three Steps For Breaking Through Interpersonal Conflict.”

The 4 minute video below gives a flavour of why this is such an important subject for all of us.

Linda Outka is a certified coach, speaker and trainer. She has over 20 years experience in helping people resolve conflicts. She is also the founder of Breakthrough Solutions Inc, which creates a space  where people can feel safe to be real and discover new insights that open doors to their potential.

Do join Linda and I as we discuss:

  • How relational hurts are like pebbles in our shoes
  • How strained relationships, failed conversations and unresolved conflicts drain our energy and sabotage our success.
  • Why trying to just ignore the conflict does not mean it necessarily will go away.
  • The metaphor of mountain climbing as a simple model for dealing with conflict.
  • What it means to move from basecamp (the preparation) to ascent (the conversation) and reach the summit (the gratification of a more fulfilled relationship).
  • The importance of preparing both your heart and you mind for dealing with that difficult conversation.
  • What is at stake by not resolving the conflict?
  • Distinguishing between fact and story in the conflict. Or as Linda likes to say, “When someone spits on you, they don’t make you mad, but they do make you wet!”
  • How at the root of every conflict is the assumption of negative intention. But what the other person did made sense to them.
  • Acknowledging the role I may have played in the conflict situation and why that is so important in order to move forward.
  • Accepting it may not always be possible to satisfactorily resolve the conflict if the other person does not want to engage.
  • How to keep defences low so as to have a productive non-blame conversation.
  • Examples from Linda’s 20 years’ experience in working with a large variety of conflict situations and much more…..

For more on Linda Outka and her work see here.

You may also find of interest Podcast #022: The Stories We Tell Ourselves and the blog post Is It Really That Person’s Fault They Are Irritating You So Much?

What questions, thoughts and comments does the issue of conflict raise for you?

To find out more you can also order the book from the link below.