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You’d Be Surprised How Important Curiosity Is

Written by: Yvette Durazo, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 

Have you ever found yourself in a conflict and wished you had a magic solution to make it go away? While there's no one-size-fits-all answer to resolving conflicts, there is one surprising tool that can help: curiosity. Yes, that's right – curiosity about the other party's perspective and needs can be surprisingly helpful in effectively navigating and resolving conflicts. In this article, we'll explore how curiosity plays a role in being conflict intelligent and the numerous benefits it can bring. So if you want to improve your conflict management skills and find more satisfactory resolutions, read on!

group of happy business men and women having a meeting at the boardroom

Role of Curiosity in Conflict Intelligence


Conflict is a natural and inevitable part of human interaction, and effectively navigating and resolving conflicts is an important skill to have. Conflict intelligence, also known as emotional intelligence or social intelligence, refers to the ability to understand and manage emotions, relationships, and communication to navigate and resolve conflicts effectively.


Curiosity plays a significant role in being conflict intelligent because it allows individuals to learn more about the other party's perspective and needs. This allows them to identify common ground and be more open-minded and flexible in their approach to resolving conflicts.


Understanding the other party's perspective


One of the key aspects of being conflict intelligent is understanding the other party's perspective. When individuals are curious about the other party's perspective, they are more likely to ask questions and seek to understand where the other party is coming from. This helps to reduce misunderstandings and build trust between the parties involved.


For example, when conflict arises between you and a colleague over a project, taking a curious look into their perspective might involve asking questions about their project goals and concerns about the current approach. By understanding their perspective, you can identify common ground and potential areas of compromise.


Curiosity can also help you better understand the other party's emotional state and needs. If you are curious about the other party's emotions and needs, you are more likely to show empathy and compassion, which can reduce tension and build rapport.


For example, if you have a conflict with a family member, being curious about their emotional state might involve asking questions about what is causing them to feel upset or frustrated. By showing an interest in their emotional well-being, you can demonstrate that you care about their feelings and are willing to work towards a resolution that addresses their needs.


Understanding the other party's perspective and emotions can also help individuals be more understanding and compassionate toward the other party's position, leading to more constructive and collaborative resolutions. Naturally, individuals who are more empathetic and compassionate toward others are more likely to find win-win solutions and outcomes in conflicts. This is because they can see the other party's perspective and needs as equally important to their own and are willing to make compromises and concessions to find a resolution that works for both parties.


Identifying common ground and potential areas of compromise

Another way in which curiosity plays a role in being conflict intelligent is in identifying common ground and potential areas of compromise. By asking questions and seeking to understand the other party's perspective, individuals can identify shared values and goals that can serve as a foundation for finding a resolution to the conflict.


For example, if you conflict with a neighbor over a property line dispute, being curious about their perspective might involve asking questions about their reasons for wanting to keep the current property line and what they hope to achieve. By understanding their perspective, you can identify shared goals, such as maintaining good relations with your neighbor or finding a fair and reasonable solution for both parties.


In addition, curiosity can help individuals to explore alternative solutions and approaches to resolving the conflict. By being open to learning about the other party's perspective, individuals can be more willing to consider different options and find a resolution that works for both parties.


For example, if you are in conflict with a customer over a product issue, being curious about their perspective might involve asking questions about their needs and expectations and exploring different options for addressing their concerns. By being open to different solutions, you can find a resolution that meets the needs of both parties and resolves the conflict.


Open-mindedness and flexibility


Curiosity can help individuals to be more open-minded and flexible in their approach to resolving conflicts. By being open to learning about the other party's perspective, individuals can be more willing to consider alternative solutions and approaches to resolving the conflict. This can reduce tension and a satisfactory resolution can be found for both parties.


For example, if you clash with a business partner because of a disagreement on the next business strategy, being curious about their perspective might involve asking questions. You want to know their reasoning and explore the different options for addressing the issue. By being open to diverse approaches, you can find a resolution that works for both parties and avoids further conflict in the future.


The simple act of being curious can help individuals to be more flexible and adaptable in their approach to resolving conflicts. By being open to learning about the other party's perspective, individuals can be more willing to make adjustments and concessions to find a resolution that works for both parties.


For example, if you are in a conflict with a co-worker over a project deadline, being curious about their perspective might involve asking questions about their concerns and challenges and finding ways to accommodate their needs. By being flexible and adaptable, you can find a resolution that works for both parties and avoids further conflict in the future.


The benefits of being curious and open-minded in conflicts


There are numerous benefits to being curious and open-minded in conflicts. For one, it can help individuals to find more satisfactory and mutually beneficial resolutions to conflicts. By being open to learning about the other party's perspective and needs, individuals are more likely to find solutions that meet both parties’ needs and avoid future conflict.


Beyond that, being curious and open-minded in conflicts can help individuals build stronger and more positive relationships. By showing an interest in the other party's perspective and needs, individuals demonstrate that they value and respect the other party, which signals to any conflicted party that they are probably overreacting. There is no point disagreeing with someone who is not trying to argue with you, after all.


Conclusion


Curiosity plays a significant role in being conflict intelligent because it allows individuals to learn more about the other party's perspective and needs, identify common ground, and be more open-minded and flexible in their approach to resolving conflicts. Individuals can reduce misunderstandings, build trust, and find resolutions that work for both parties by showing an interest in the other party's perspective, emotions, and needs.


Whether you are dealing with conflicts at work, in your relationships, or your community, being curious and open to learning about the other party's perspective can help you to navigate and resolve conflicts and improve your conflict intelligence effectively. By developing your conflict intelligence and curiosity skills, you can improve your personal and professional relationships and create a more positive and supportive environment for yourself and those around you. Conflict Intelligence Quotient “Conflict-IQ™” is a good read for people having trouble managing conflicts in a workplace and solving them effectively.


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Read more from Yvette!

 

Yvette Durazo, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Yvette Durazo, MA, PCC is the author of the book Conflict Intelligence (Conflict-IQ™) The Missing Piece to Turbocharge Leaders’ and Organizations’ Emotional Intelligence. She is the principal consultant of Unitive Consulting, a workplace organizational effectiveness, strategic conflict management, and leadership development firm.

Yvette brings innovative techniques to promote a positive workplace culture in organizations to encourage trust, productive human capital engagement, and inclusion. Clients benefit from her wealth of knowledge and professional experience in the art of building a trusting workplace relationship. Some of her services include; training, mediating conflicts in the workplace, anti-bullying, settlement negotiations, developing dispute system design, and bringing unique strategies to address the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) to the workplace.

Yvette is passionate about optimizing professionals and teams to engage in constructive problem-solving communication toward instilling respect, civility, and collaboration. She believes that human conflict is one of the most important things organizations must learn to harness and combat to avoid derailing of employees’ performance. Her methodologies are like a vitamin boost to the immunity of organizations.

Presently, Yvette is a UCSC HR Program Co-Chair and an instructor for the Human Resource Management Certification program at the University of California Santa Clara Extension Silicon Valley. She also is an instructor for the University of California Davis Conflict Resolution Program. She also teaches for Portland State University Conflict Resolution and Mediation courses for undergraduate and master’s degree students. She holds a PCC coaching credential from the International Coach Federation, a master’s degree in Conflict Resolution, Negotiation, and Peacebuilding from California State University Dominguez Hills, and an undergraduate degree in International Business from San Diego State University. She is a former Core Adjunct Professor at National University, where she taught courses in Alternative Dispute Resolution, Mediation, and Communication for over six years.


A former Instructor for the Leon Guanajuato Mexico Institution Power of Justice, Yvette has authored many publications and articles on conflict resolutions. Yvette is fully bilingual in English and Spanish and has expertise with cultural diversity and inclusion.


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