In this lesson, we’ll continue to discuss ways of mitigating the fight or flight reaction.
Two areas of focus include:
We often dread situations that require us to have difficult conversations with someone; however, there are ways of becoming more comfortable in these instances.
As you know, confidence is the belief that one can engage in a given situation successfully by meeting needs or preventing loss and harm.
Security, on the other hand, is the feeling that one is not exposed to a threat. When we feel like we're being exposed to a threat, whether real or perceived, we have natural physiological reactions that occur in our bodies.
These reactions are caused by the release of adrenaline, and they may include:
All of these things happen automatically, but there are some techniques to increase security and confidence when we're feeling this way, or even before we're feeling this way.
These techniques all start with courage, or the willingness to engage with a threat. No matter what the threat is, we need to have this willingness to engage with it.
Let’s say you have a fear of public speaking. A way of engaging with this threat might be joining Toastmasters, where you have to stand up every week or every couple of weeks, and actually give a speech. This would be helpful in terms of facing your fear.
Once we have the willingness to engage with a threat, there are some other techniques that we can use before we enter into a difficult conversation with someone with whom we're in conflict.
As we discussed in an earlier lesson, we want to prepare rationally for what we are entering into, which means we need to focus on the facts. It's very hard to do this when we have adrenaline rushing through our system and causing various physical reactions.
Therefore, we may need to:
in order to think realistically about what there is to gain, and what there is to lose in the conflict at hand. This way, we’re not exaggerating the possible outcomes, or getting defensive about what we think the other person is going to do.
It can actually help to go through this process with someone in order to talk out the situation and think about what can realistically be expected as an outcome.
It's also helpful to focus on past successes; remember that the next time you have to have a difficult conversation with someone. Focusing on past successes will help you visualize success in the conversation that you have coming up.
In the conflict resolution process, the mediator’s goal is to help the parties increase their sense of security and confidence simply by being part of the process.
The process is transparent, which means it's open, and everybody knows what's going on. Everything is said in the presence of the other parties and the mediator, so each party can lay out his or her:
Each person is empowered to speak for him or herself, and then listen to the others do the same.
Conflict resolution is a process that allows people to:
It's possible to increase security and confidence when we’re heading into a conflict, but in order to do this, we need to recognize that adrenaline can get in the way. We need to take steps to quell our physiological reactions so that we can prepare for and consider the situation rationally before stepping into it.
In this lesson, you learned how courage can lead to security and confidence by providing a willingness to engage with a threat, whether that threat is real or perceived.
You now understand the role of security and confidence in the conflict resolution process: The process itself aims to provide the parties with a safe way to express their concerns and work toward their goals.
Source: Adapted from Sophia tutorial by Marlene Johnson.
A feeling that one is not exposed to threat.
A belief that one can engage in a given situation successfully (e.g. by meeting needs or preventing loss/harm).
A willingness to engage with a threat.