A post by Jenna Wilcox, PAA Artistic Director.
In the arts we meet and work with lots of different people. Some of these people are very much like us and making friends is fast and easy. Some are very different from us and it can be hard to understand where they are coming from. It takes all of us to make great moments in music and on stage. We won’t like everyone we meet but everyone we meet has something to teach us. How do we deal with conflict when it faces us in our work? There are many different methods. These three steps are a great first start to finding a resolution.
- Assume Positive Intent. Always assume that the person you are working with or speaking to is trying to do their best and that they mean only good things for everyone they work with. A great deal of conflict occurs when we assign negative intent where there is none.
- Listen First. If someone is upset it is best to listen first. As they speak through how they are feeling or what they are thinking you will likely come to common ground. If not, you will have a good foundation to build a solution for the problem you face.
- Seek a solution, don’t try to be correct. If you are only trying to be the one in the right or the one with the answers, you are ignoring your opportunity for growth and learning. Remember relationship is the key. Learning to understand and care for others in crisis will carry you farther than being correct. Seek connection, not correction.