Whenever conflict, large or small, comes along we are about to learn something.
—Donna Schaper, Senior Minister at Judson Memorial Church in New York City.
I write often about the opportunities inherent in conflict, and about the importance of practice. The concept of practice applies to any skill we want to cultivate and, without doubt, practicing new conflict and communication skills requires some risk-taking.
Yet, every conversation we engage in can be seen as a kind of practice. In the ones that go well, it may be easier to see the skills we used -- I had a clear purpose, I was centered, I asked some useful questions that helped my partner get to what was really bothering them.
Yet, in my experience, it is the challenging, difficult, risky conversations that offer the greatest learning....