Feb 6 – Grow from Conflict

Cheetah Certified Project Manager (CCPM) Tip of the Day

With the right skills, you can grow from conflict

With the right skills, you can grow from conflict

February 6 – Don’t shy away from conflict. Instead, use it as an opportunity to learn more about why you are reacting the way you are. Others are simply holding up a mirror to whatever in ourselves we need to better understand and accept.


Michelle LaBrosse, CCPM, PMP, PMI-ACP

Conflict is the big bogey man in many people’s lives. At least it was for me for a long time. I grew up in a large family with three older (and much bigger) brothers. As a matter of survival, I avoided conflict with these guys. I learned over the years, though, that this is NOT the best way to deal with conflict. Like the bogey man, confronting conflict is far worse in your mind than it is in reality.

My learning adventure in how to best deal with conflict started in the mid-90’s with a relatively peaceful divorce. We were both committed to handling the dissolution of a contract that was no longer serving us with respect and on our own (no attorneys – a DIY divorce). But I did dread those in-person meetings to deal with the paperwork. To help me cope with the anxiety of those meetings, I read the book “Magic of Conflict” by Thomas Crum. He uses the principles of Aikido as the metaphor throughout his book. The main principle is that, just like Aikido, you counter force with love. I do credit that book with helping me gracefully move through a very trying process.

Over the years I’ve become somewhat of a pro with handling conflict and am often called in to facilitate meetings between many fractured parties. I used a combination of techniques in my approach to teaching people how to interact in a way they can grow from their differences. I call my technique “Conversational Aikido.” While I learned of the Aikido principle in the Magic of Conflict book, my conversational Aikido approach teaches techniques in somatic psychology to help you regulate your physiologic responses to anticipated conflict. That way, you can enter into a dialog coming from your highest self. I also included terminology you can learn how to use from the body of work called “non-violent communication.” You learn how master the techniques of Conversational Aikido in the Cheetah Certified Project Manager program.

Conflict can be a tremendous source of learning and growth, WHEN you have to tools to handle it for that purpose. If you want to choose a better way to deal with conflict than hiding under the covers from the bogey man, consider becoming a Cheetah Certified Project Manager.

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