I have learned so much from Shylla from Inner Matter. She is organized, relatable, and highly educated. She’s taught me how to set boundaries, have courageous conversations, and has helped me understand what has been holding me back! Shylla has challenged my thinking in the most positive way! What I appreciate most are the small practical tips, tricks, strategies, and tools she shares to put into everyday life! Thanks Shylla!
Teri Kuperus, Educator
Human behavior is complex, yet so simple. When we understand the patterns behind it, we can begin to influence thoughts, emotions, and actions in ourselves and others for the good of the group. As someone who has studied human behavior and standardized testing for the past 22 years, I began to notice foundational themes. Within those themes, we all fall somewhere on the spectrum from relative weakness to a strength and anywhere in between. I quickly learned there is power in understanding these constructs, how they relate to ourselves or others for personal and professional growth. When we can build bridges between people and groups, showing them how to relate to and rely on each other, team efficacy improves.
In any relationship or situation, we are bringing our own set of skills, values, beliefs, attitudes, and meaning to the dynamics. When working with others, our differences will typically complement or adversely affect each other. Within a short period of time, we are usually able to notice when we complement each other, creating a deep connection with little work. On the other hand, any conflicting differences will also present themselves and, without skillful resolve, this can greatly impact the dynamics within a team or an organization if we do not address it appropriately.
Relationships typically operate in three phases: connection, nurture, or repair. When we first meet someone, we begin by making connections in our professional and/or personal lives. It is the initial connection that helps us determine if we want to invest any further into the relationship. In most cases, we have a choice in our investment, however in some cases, such as the workplace or with certain family members, that choice has been made for us, leaving it up to us to make the best of the situation. As we all know, this doesn’t always go well.
In the second phase, we need to nurture the relationship once a connection is established. Like a plant that needs water and light to thrive, our relationships need the right amount of attention to stay alive or grow as well.
The third phase is the repair, which is necessary following a conflict. Repair happens when parties follow up with one another after a conflict. In this process, each person identifies their part, they offer solutions to fix the situation, and they commit to correcting this situation for the benefit of the relationship. While repair is the most important phase, it is often the area that falls by the wayside.
In any relationship, conflict is inevitable and seems to be the area we are the least skilled at. Our emotions often come into play and can hijack our frontal lobe’s ability to make rational decisions in the moment. We might face it head on, making the situation worse. On the other hand, many of us try to avoid it, adopting the toddler’s theory of ‘out of sight, out of mind’.
Understanding human behavior and developing skills for each phase of a relationship positions us in a place of feeling empowered to collaborate with others during any type of interaction, particularly conflict resolution. Whether you’re an individual, educator, or a leader, you’ll be able to collaborate with others during any type of conflict in a way that maintains the relationship and reaps positive outcomes. Building stronger and healthier connections leads to a happier, more fulfilled life in and outside of work.
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