Thinking Like Einstein: Conflict in a New Light

“The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.” – Albert Einstein

When faced with a conflict situation, our natural tendency is to want to change “it”; when faced with a difficult person, we desire to change him or her. What we usually don’t consider is changing our habitual ways of dealing with conflict – changing our patterns of behavior that have not resulted in positive outcomes. We keep doing more of the same.  Even new, seemingly positive skills that we try to use to deal with conflict are often attached to old ways of thinking and, therefore, probably will not work.

Einstein was a genius. What you may not be aware of is how he was a genius.Einstein didn’t think in “normal” ways. In fact, he knew that to get to new levels of thinking, he had to detach from old familiar patterns of thinking.  In this program, participants will learn different ways to think about conflict and their approach to it.  Because thinking about conflict will change, the skills learned will work.

Objectives: Upon completion of this program, participants will be able to:

  • Identify old thinking patterns around conflict that are not effective
  • Define and recognize self-imposed conflict management “rules” that prevent new, more positive behavior
  • Create better outcomes by changing thinking, rules, and behavior
  • Manage conflict to insure more positive outcomes for teams and individuals
  • Have a new respect for Einstein’s thinking and apply it to other areas of professional and personal lives

Sample Agenda:

    • The relationship between beliefs, behavior, and conflict
    • Beliefs create rules; what are “rules”?
    • Rules that keep conflict alive
    • Change the rules, change the “game,” change the outcome
    • Conflict as a teacher
    • Provides useful information that can be instrumental in creating positive change
    • Identifies unmet needs that are sources of conflict
    • Putting conflicts’ lessons into effect to prevent repetition of similar conflicts
    • Identifying roots of conflict
    • Clarifying the needs of an individual versus the needs of the situation
    • Negotiating needs
    • How to deal with differences between people, power, and objectives
    • “Stop,” “Drop” (old patterns), and “Roll” (with another plan)
    • Identifying options that provide flexibility to deal with conflict


1/2 to full day

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