Conflicts often arise in teams, between colleagues, and in fact within ourselves.
How could we deal with them more effectively?
One powerful technique in dealing with conflicts is to take different perspectives. Looking at a situation or an issue from multiple perspectives can bring increased awareness and allow for a happy compromise or even better a win-win solution where all parties mutually benefit from the outcome.
First person perspective
This is our own perspective. Although it sounds quite straightforward, it might be worth thinking about this deeply or perhaps writing down our thoughts to bring awareness about our viewpoint and associated feelings.
Second person perspective
This is other person's perspective where we try to experience the situation from their viewpoint. This can be immensely helpful but it's important to be aware that this can only go so far as we would naturally make certain assumptions about their arguments and their feelings. Having said that, it's certainly a good starting point. If possible, it might be worth asking them to share their own perspective in order to build a better understanding.
Third person perspective
This involves looking at the situation as a neutral observer. This can be quite powerful as this allows us to look at the problem without being a party to the conflict. This enables us to build empathy with all parties yet assess the situation without feeling the emotions when we are involved.
Fourth person perspective
This builds on the third person perspective and involves zooming out and looking at the situation from a holistic perspective. This allows us to see the conflict from a systemic viewpoint allowing us to understand it's importance in the wider context and any impact it might have elsewhere.
In summary, taking different perspectives in a conflict helps build empathy with all involved, allows us to view the situation from different angles and enable us to understand it's importance and impact in the wider context.