Conflict resilience can be trained

Wherever people come together or work together, conflicts can arise. But the healthy handling of 
conflicts can be trained.

What if you approach conflicts with calmness and curiosity, and constructively shape them?

What if conflicts are not energy drainers, but rather opportunities to harness the tension and energy 
of conflict situations to create fresh solutions?

And what if you can train and choose these abilities?

"Conflict resilience" means consciously stepping away from negative stress behavior and creating 
creative and sustainable solutions with conflicts. But how can this be achieved?

Engaging in drama roles - our default mode regarding conflict
Conflict is something many people want to avoid as much as possible. Why? Is it uncertainty, 
wanting to save face, fear of aggression, fear of being seen as a loser, or fear of rejection? Whatever 
the reason may be, conflicts are instinctively negatively charged. Our focus is often on what we don't 
want, and this unconsciously triggers our stress behavior. Stephen Karpman, father of the "drama 
triangle," has identified three drama roles that we prefer to fall into under stress: victim, aggressor, 
and rescuer. These roles need each other, fuel each other, and prevent constructive collaborative 

"I'm sorry. This is probably a stupid idea."

"If you were more committed, we wouldn't have this problem."

"You should just adopt my approach. It works perfectly."

Whether we belittle ourselves and give in, whether we think we're smart and impose our solution on 
others, or whether we criticize and belittle others - drama roles create an atmosphere of self-doubt, 
dependency, blame, and frustration. They drain energy and prevent us from performing at our best 
and creating solutions together with others.

So, what now?
How do we harness the energy inherent in conflicts to bridge the gap between what we want and 
what is, in the best possible way? If you are resilient, you can shift from a defensive posture and 
problem focus to openness and solution orientation in the situation, tackling conflicts powerfully 
and with ease. The goal is to strive for the best solution together with others, rather than fighting 
against each other. This mindset can be chosen.

Training resilience muscles - preventive, situational, reflexive
You can train your conflict resilience in three contexts.

Preventive: Use even the smallest disagreements in everyday life to strengthen your conflict 
resilience so that it is available to you in times of crisis.
• Situational: Embrace crises positively and appreciate them as teachers. Each application 
strengthens your resilience muscles. Our brain learns new patterns of behavior this way.
• Reflexive: If things don't work out during crisis, revisit the situation afterwards and imagine 
how you would act resiliently now. Our brain does not distinguish between "imagined" and 
"real" and continues to build resilience muscles in this way.

Two steps in training your conflict resilience:
Step 1: Awareness - Recognize and step out of drama roles!
Become an observer and celebrate when you catch yourself and others in drama roles and 
behaviors! Then, consciously let go of that role. And if you notice a drama role in the other person, 
don't engage with your own drama role. Be a killjoy!

Step 2: Shifting perspective and activating strengths
A shift in perspective means not seeing conflicts as stumbling blocks but as opportunities. The 
following reflection exercise can help: "What needs to happen for me to say afterwards that the 
conflict was the best thing that could have happened?" Allow yourself the freedom to think without 
immediately questioning every small idea critically. This mind shift is our free choice. The behavioral 
scientist David Emerald ("The Power of TED*") puts it succinctly: "Choose choice! Energy flows 
where the focus goes."

Psychologist and compassion expert Nate Regier describes it this way: A sheer mind shift from victim 
to creator grants us access to key skills for a positive conflict culture. This allows for positive conflicts 
to become possible and real.

Ideas for strength training

Be open
Perceiving and expressing our own emotional reactions means appreciating ourselves and creating 
transparency towards others. Acting with an "open visor" builds trust. In interactions, this means 
respecting others' feelings and expressing compassion.
Training exercise: Observe yourself and the other person. What emotions and energy do you 
perceive within yourself, and what about the other person? Express them with appreciation: "I feel 
uncomfortable." "That sounds exciting." "How does that make you feel?" "I see how frightening that 
is." "I can understand that." "I'm happy for you."

Be curious
Wanting to learn and being on an equal footing in exchange means seeing oneself and others as 
competent and capable. This creates an environment where everyone feels seen, heard, and able to 
contribute their potential.
Training exercise: The "10% rule" states that no one is completely wrong and is at least 10% right. 
The task is to find and express that 10%.
"What I like about your position is... and I think..." "What possibilities do you see?" "What has 
worked for you in the past?"

Be persistent
Keeping the focus on the goal means committing to it and demanding commitment from others. 
When one has the desire and solution in focus, everything that happens, including mistakes and 
setbacks, is seen as a positive challenge. Every step forward brings progress or a learning effect.
Training exercise: Identify the framework and responsibility and explore learning effects. "You can 
count on me." "These are the conditions that apply to us." "What can we learn from this?" "How can 
we ensure that it doesn't happen again?"

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