CONFLICT: RETALIATION LEADS TO ESCALATION
Conflict escalates because of how someone perceives and responds to your behaviour. Controlling your behaviour and consciously choosing your response can help you disrupt what the Mediation Training Institute (MTI) refers to as the Retaliatory Cycle.
by Craig Runde, Program Designer, and Partner & Board Member of the Institute for Workplace Dynamics- IWD – Europe in Paris, France.
The Retaliatory Cycle
Behaviour is Easiest Change
Dan Dana, who created the Retaliatory Cycle concept, generally recommends that the easiest place to disrupt the cycle is in the acting out phase, because it is easier to consciously choose better behaviours than it is to manage your emotions or change your perceptions.
There is also merit in learning to manage and regulate your emotions. A recent research article on emotion regulation and conflict suggests that by regulating emotions, teams are able to keep conflict from becoming destructive and to get better performance results. (1) While it can be challenging, working on improving your emotional intelligence and emotion regulation can help lessen the grip of the Retaliatory Cycle. A number of helpful techniques for managing conflict emotions can be found in Runde and Flanagan’s Becoming a Conflict Competent Leader (2nd ed.) 2012.