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“Never cut what you can untie.”


I love this little quote from French moralist Joseph Joubert on dealing with conflict.

This is a great post from Kate Billing on her Linkedin page. She goes on to write:




It’s something I call to mind often in conflict situations as my natural ‘fight or fight’ (No - that’s NOT a typo!) response might tend me more often to the former than the latter.


Life in lockdown can bring with it lowered resilience, elevated stress and anxiety, an over abundance of time immersed with those we love, and comms and connection with colleagues that’s missing all its usual humanness (thanks to the limits of Teams and Zoom) and rife with potential for missed messages.


In that combination of ingredients, the chances of conflict arising are significantly increased.


It can be helpful to have little mental triggers like the quote at the top of this post to call you back from the precipice 😉


Other beauties from Joubert on the subject include:


“The aim of an argument should not be victory but progress.”


“It is better to debate a question without settling it than to settle it without debating it.”


“Those who never retract their opinions love themselves more than they do truth.”


And when in doubt:

(1) take a deep breath

(2) shake it out little

(3) stay curious and open

(4) set your own opinion/argument aside; and

(4) ask another question


…seek to untie rather than cut 😉


Kate Billing is founder and creative director at Blacksmith HQ

#leadership #fullyhuman #conflict



Image credit - Lisa Congdon

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