Calming the Conflict

Calming the Conflict

Why can’t we all just get along? Even if we don’t agree, we can recognize when we’ve closed our minds to listening, learning, and growing together with compassion and kindness.

Calming the Conflict

by Janet Fouts and Adam Helweh | Meditation for Marketers


We always have some form of conflict in the workplace
Sometimes it’s small and can easily be managed
Other times?
Not so easy.
Most of us work in diverse workgroups, with people from differing cultures, educations, beliefs and skill levels.
We need to find ways to bring us all together
Even if we don’t agree on everything (nobody does) we can agree to take a moment to try to see the other perspectives.
To recognize when we are not opening our heart to see the other human being in the conflict.
When we might be feeling “right” and not recognizing that, like it or not, none of us are perfect, and the constant striving to reach it only pushes it further away.

Here’s a process to bring kindness to ourselves and others.
Recognize that I am imperfect, just like everyone else in the world
When negative stories get in the way of our communication like:

I just can’t seem to get my point through to them,
Why can’t they hear me?
I can’t even talk to them, it’s like they’re a brick wall!
Why can’t they see my side is better!

Take a moment to recognize this pattern, this way of speaking to yourself when you don’t get your way
That’s all it is, a pattern. Let that negative thought be, just for this moment, without letting it take you over or trying to stuff it down and ignore it.

Draw your attention to how you feel in your body, right now. Emotions like fear, sadness, disgust, anger, and shame generally connect to a physical feeling. Where do you feel it in your body. Locate where in your body you are feeling this and allow yourself to really feel it.

Now try using this breath exercise to bring a calmer, kinder approach to this.

Take a few deep slow breaths, and with each breath and to yourself:
Breathing in I feel my frustration

Breathing out I feel my frustration

Really feel the place in your body you are experiencing this emotion

Breathing in I feel my frustration

Breathing out I feel my frustration

Now let’s begin to offer some kindness

Breathing in I smile and feel my frustration softening

Breathing out I feel my frustration softening

Breathing in I feel calmer with my frustration

Breathing out I feel calmer with my frustration

Bring a visual image of this person to mind.

If you can, make it an image of them in a positive light, perhaps smiling, working with you or someone else in a positive way.

Recognize that just like everyone else in the world, they are imperfect too
Just like you

Say to yourself
Just like me this person wishes to be happy
Just like me this person wishes to be liked
Just like me this person wishes to avoid suffering
Just like me this person wishes to fulfill their needs
Just like me this person wishes to feel valued and respected
Just like me this person wishes to enjoy their work

Breathe in and say to yourself:
Breathing in I recognize that we both want to be happy
Breathing out I recognize that we are indeed alike

These simple breathing practices can offer as much in the recognition of our own patterns as opening our hearts to seeing how similar we all really are.
We can then be open to listening fully, without interruption or prejudice.
We can allow ourselves to compromise, agree, or even to be wrong.
We can have compassion for ourselves and the other person.

When we recognize the feeling of frustration, anger etc in our bodies we can train our mind to recognize it too and head it off before things get out of hand.
The outcome is better for all concerned and for future encounters as well.

We can develop the leadership skills of being open to ideas, listening without judgment, and make a conscious effort to reduce conflict.

Experience the Other Meditations

Simply Being Here

Calming the Conflict

Attitude of Resilience

Attitude of Resilience

Igniting the Creative Spark

Igniting the Creative Spark

Created by

Janet Fouts

Janet Fouts

Janet is a mindfulness and meditation coach based in the San Francisco bay area and has 20+ years of experience as a digital marketer, CEO and entrepreneur. She brings an approachable,  practical approach to mindfulness for teams and leaders to lead with authority, resilience and compassion.
Adam Helweh

Adam Helweh

Adam Helweh is the founder and CEO of Silicon Valley performance marketing agency Secret Sushi. For the last 20 years, he's helped clients navigate the evolving digital marketing landscape and harness it to grow their business. He believes that, in the age of the connected customer, understanding what it means to be a connected marketer is critical to being successful. Outside of work, he is pursuing his most significant role ever as a first-time father, re-experiencing life through his son's eyes.