Building the right kind of Container


Thanks for the great list on increasing our capacity to work with and through conflict. Good stuff and very actionable. There is only one thing that I would add to this list and it is really a pretty common theme in our work and in our ongoing discussions. I think that the nature of our relationships is probably a large variable in the capacity for those relationships to withstand and actually benefit from some conflict and tension.

One thing that every single one of us can do, regardless of our role or title, regardless of our education or amount of experience is make a greater effort to develop and maintain real and resilient relationships…relationships strong enough to tolerate a bit of conflict. We have talked a fair amount about social capital in this space and I think that it is a dead horse worth beating.

Conflict, tension, and dissent are not bad things necessarily…in fact they can be very good things. They can be a sign that people are awake, paying attention and actually give a shit about something. They can be a sign that people are willing to be honest…which unfortunately is not terribly common in my experience.

If you want the benefit of that honesty and those different perspectives, you have to create the right kind of container. If you cannot create that container, then conflict is likely to break things pretty quickly. Your list is a great way to go about building that container, as is an overall focus on building strong relationships.


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