Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The cure for conflict

"Conflict at work is often due to a person's feeling defensive out of a fear of losing face. To prove himself he sets certain goals for how others should treat him, and then expects rigidly that others will fulfil those expectations. This rarely happens as planned, however, because others also have an agenda for their own rigid goals to be achieved. Perhaps the best way to avoid this impasse is to set the challenge of reaching one's goals while helping the boss and colleagues reach theirs; it is less direct and more time-consuming than forging ahead to satisfy one's interests regardless of what happens to others, but in the long run it seldom fails."

-Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Flow

And of course this applies to all of of life. Amazing how Csikszentmihalyi can distil it down to its essence.

The source of all of our conflict is our own expectations, and the sooner we can step outside of ourselves and our own agenda and see things from others' perspectives, and help them reach their goals, the sooner we will be happy ourselves.

What we need is symbiosis in the place of survival of the fittest, compassion in the place of competition. We need to realize that we're all in this together, and that's actually really cool.

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