Friday, August 3, 2012

Systems Thinking in Conflict Resolution

By writing an article on projectmanagement and systemsthinking I found a very good article of the Eastern Martial Arts , systemsthinking and conflict solving, which I want to share with you . (Published by Pegasus Communications)

By Judy Ringer
I teach Aikido—on the mat and in organizational training spaces.
On the mat, we take turns giving and receiving physical attacks, falling down and getting up again about a hundred times a night, disarming our partner without harm. We come to the mat forAikido bow exercise, to study self-defense, and to practice resilience, self-control, and courage under pressure.
In organizations, participants come for similar reasons.
We do kinesthetic Aikido activities to gain insight into how what happens on the mat applies to conflict, communication, and stress in everyday life.
What does Aikido teach us?
Aikido’s first teaching is in the way it frames attack.
 The Aikidoist sees the attack, the conflict, as energy to be utilized—as a gift.
The beauty of this premise is that it changes the locus of power from an external to an internal source. We all encounter unwished-for events, people, and problems every day. To successfully manage these conflicts, we manage ourselves. When I experience conflict as attack, I resist, defend, or avoid. When I frame conflict as a gift, I am willing to engage, explore, and work with it. By changing my view, I change my relationship to the conflict.

Reframing our challenges as energy to be received and redirected into something useful is the first step. But how do we actually make this shift when our emotions are triggered? This is Aikido’s second teaching.
For example, think about a conflict in which you are currently involved. Imagine the situation in detail.
Now pay attention to your body.
What do you notice?
Do you become tense?
 Does your breathing or heart rate quicken?
 What emotions arise?

We all know how we want to be when in conflict. People usually report a wish to be “calm; in control; present; confident.” Yet our own conflict habits—unconscious, ingrained behaviors such as fight, flee, and freeze—get triggered in difficult moments, despite our best intentions.
Aikido gives us a way to retrain these habits.
What Aikido offers, through movement and repetition, is in-the-body re-patterning, which helps us regain awareness and power over our trigger points.
By practicing the blending and redirecting movements of Aikido, we find new ways of being under pressure.
We gain access to our calm, centered, reflective self and can call on it anytime.
On the mat, this transformation process is visual and physical. We move off the line of attack, engage the energy, and redirect it.
On the mat of life, the Aikidoist employs inquiry and purpose to build relationships and co-create intentional, trusting environments. For example, we engage the energy of conflict whenever we listen and acknowledge without judgment. We redirect when we help someone see another view.

Aikido perceives the world differently from most conventional views. Consequently, we begin to understand success differently. Instead of experiencing conflict as an attack for which we must develop defenses, we perceive a world in which we are part of the ebb and flow.
Merging body, mind, and spirit, we can make more congruent and powerful choices about how we extend our energy and receive the energy of others. Instead of fueling the illusion that we are separate, we reinforce physically, metaphorically, and practically that we are one connected, inseparable system, continually inventing itself.

Recall a conflict in which you are currently involved. What conflict habits are active? Are you defending your position or possibly avoiding the conflict altogether? How can you engage, explore, and work with the energy instead?

Judy RingerJudy Ringer is the author of Unlikely Teachers: Finding the Hidden Gifts in Daily Conflict. She provides conflict and communication training throughout North America with unique workshops based on mind-body principles from the martial art Aikido, in which she holds a black belt. Judy brings to life concepts such as self-management under pressure and appreciation of other viewpoints. Her programs are interactive, experiential, and energetic

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