Conflict is nothing more than a clash of value systems, and no value system is exactly the same, according to VVBW’s November keynote speaker, Jolina Karen.  Karen, a healer, teacher and coach, discussed how a great leader will recognize and react to conflict.

Conflict can be scary, but this is based on the mistaken belief that the other person is the source of your anger or fear. Individuals must take 100% responsibility for their own experiences. Most people don’t realize that conflict isn’t personal and can be an opportunity to meet your own needs.

For example, being “careless” or “careful” with your values can mean putting someone else’s values before your own, or vice versa. Being “caring,” according to Karen, is to be true to yourself while honoring the values of the other person. Values must be seen, heard, understood and appreciated.

Karen explained that conflict is a catalyst for self-actualization, which is a three step process of knowing yourself, understanding yourself, and appreciating yourself.

“Self-actualization is the process of falling deeply in love with yourself,” said Karen. “It is appreciating yourself unconditionally, completely, madly with no caveats whatsoever! When you learn yourself and respect yourself, you give others the permission to do the same.”

According to Karen, when understood as the relationship building opportunities that they are, conflicts become experiences through which to grow in understanding and appreciation of oneself and the other person. Conflicts are absolutely necessary on our evolutionary journey into greater love for ourselves, the people around us and this extraordinary universe in which we live.

Karen shared a five-step process to help use conflict for self-actualization – Awakening GRACE.

G – Get real. State what happened, but stick to the facts.
R – Rant and rave. Get clear on your emotional charge.
A – Acknowledge alternative views. Turn it around to understand the perspective of another.
C – Connect all to your Highest Values.
E – Express Gratitude.

As Karen explains on her site, “Conflict doesn’t happen to you. It happens for you. Thank it.”

Visit Jolina Karen’s site to learn more about her approach to assisting with personal and professional development, relationship management and health issues. Contact Jolina for a complimentary 15 minute chat at Jolina@JolinaKaren.com.

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