Conflict becomes enculturated or habituated when the originating issue becomes a competition by individuals or groups to prevail.
Leading through conflict so that this does not occur, or leading in a conflict culture to grow a group into a better relational matrix requires recognition of what the outcome should be: growth in knowledge and attitudes that help ensure that future prompt points of conflict are better dealt with.
The leader also has to ensure that they don’t make their own involvement doesn’t become about victory and not learning.
We don’t stand disengaged, we stand committed to be involved on the basis of the character that we hope to see growing in others.
Conflict is a learning time, greatly depending upon the maturity and motivation of the system’s leadership.
Bogged down in a stand-off, people are apt to use conflict as a way of carry out a competition, than of education. The situation becomes increasingly negative and hostile. People are anxious about “losing” or appearing “weak” or being humiliated. This only stiffens their will to prevail.
Though not easily accomplished, what is required is action, not victory. Someone has to provide a way to focus and to engage the people’s imaginative capacities. How can we move from argument to explanation? If we don’t, we’re entailed in nothing but a trial of strength. How can we use our ingenuity to address our predicament instead of defeating the other side? Leaders are needed who can help design an outcome instead of arbitrating or refereeing an emotional wrestling match.
Peter L. Steinke, Uproar – Calm Leadership In Anxious Times, Rowman and Littlefield, 2019, pg 117.