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Objective: Recognize conflict beliefs by exploring language usage.

The way we think and talk about conflict reveals what we believe about it. And as we believe, about conflict, so we act either to use conflict for good or for ill. One way to find out is to ask ourselves, “What does conflict feel like to me?” Perhaps you might say, “Conflict is an inferno.” “Conflict is a fight that I never win.” “Conflict is a black hole to avoid at all costs.” Or maybe you say to yourself: “Conflict is my ally. Nobody dare try me!

  • Think about a conflict you have been a part of or have observed.
  • Select one of the negative metaphors from the reading that applies to the conflict, or provide a metaphor of your own that is a better fit.
  • Given the metaphor, how could the conflict be resolved? Suggest three ways.
  • Now choose a positive metaphor from the reading (or create one of your own). Apply this to the conflict scenario.
  • Given the new metaphor, what three options would you now have that you didn’t before?
  • Finish your response by commenting on how important it is to “frame” a conflict in a hopeful rather than helpless way.
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