Abandoning Assumptions in Conflict
BY CINNIE NOBLE
“Reflecting on and checking out our assumptions – the perspectives and views we choose – helps us become more masterful at managing conflict” says Cinnie Noble in her recent post reflecting on the practice of abandoning assumptions in conflict. Is this something you practise?
“For things to reveal themselves to us, we need to be ready to abandon our views about them.” Thich Nhat Hanh
One of the things that many of us do when we are in conflict is to make assumptions about the other person and their motives. Depending on our relationship with the person, the nature of the situation, what is said or done (or not said or done), and our frame of mind and heart at that time, there are varying levels of assumptions we may make.
We may start out by giving the other person the benefit of the doubt and make excuses that demonstrate some empathy or understanding of why they are acting or being a certain way that irritates us. On the other hand, we may go directly to malevolent assumptions, depending on what they have said or done and the degree to which we are offended by them.
Reflecting on and checking out our assumptions – the perspectives and views we choose – helps us become more masterful at managing conflict. To most effectively respond to some of the queries from this week’s ConflictMastery Quest(ions) blog, it helps to consider a specific situation that is ongoing or one that has recently happened when answering these questions: