Learn from Adam Reynolds, coach and principal owner at Adam Reynolds Leadership. Adam says, “the most important part of the work is that it matters deeply to each client.” Join Seasons Leadership Co-Founders Susan Ireland and Debbie Collard as they talk to Adam about the fruits of conflict, why it needs to be addressed and how the triangle of blame is a negative force for conflict resolution. This is part 1 of a 2-part discussion aimed at giving listeners actionable advice to better move through conflict in their own lives and emerge with stronger relationships and better leadership outcomes.
(2:25) Debbie asks Adam to tackle an aspect of conflict. Adam shares how conflict comes in many forms (3:55) and Susan presses if conflict is bad? The answer to that question continues to unfold throughout the discussion between the leaders. Performance reviews (5:40) are referenced as an example of bad conflict.
Next, Adam introduces the concept of the “triangle of blame” (6:19) which is also sometimes referenced as “the drama triangle.” He reinforces his thesis that conflict is actually good and necessary (6:55) and is a way to create deeper relationships. The leaders agree that it is usually not fun to be in conflict (7:50) but Adam suggests that unresolved conflict is not good (9:23) and that you need to stay in the conflict so you can work through it. Susan points out the adversarial nature of conflict (10:50) and then Adam points to the importance of diversity for us to grow (12:05) and how naturally out of that comes conflict. The leaders discuss the broader context of conflict and how all relationships are at the core of human accomplishment (13:22) which naturally brings conflict.
The group discusses how, to our detriment, people are not taught to engage in conflict effectively (14:47) and all the negative outcomes that come with conflict avoidance (17:20). Adam shares that the triangle is the smallest possible relationship system that can restore balance in a time of stress but that the “triangle of blame” however, is not an example of that (18:48).
Next, Adam provides examples of victimization (19:24) and how the perception of that causes stress. The leaders discuss how objectivity versus subjectivity plays a role (21:05). Then Adam gives an example to break down the “triangle of blame” (23:57) and how victims often feel powerless (26:07). This powerlessness plays a key role in driving the triangle (26:07). Roles in the triangle are discussed with Debbie asking about the rescuer (30:44). The group agrees that being the rescuer can feel empowering (31:20) and even seductive (34:15). The roles in the triangle will be discussed more in-depth in part 2.
(35:28) Adam breaks down the task of the rescuer and of a good coach in the “triangle of blame” to help someone effectively move through conflict. The group discusses power (37:05) and then connects the concept back to leadership (39:17) and how effective leaders help people gain back their power (39:45). Debbie and Susan break down the learnings from part 1 of their discussion with Adam (42:40) and look forward to part 2.
All episodes of the Seasons Leadership Podcast are available on our show page: Seasons Leadership Podcast
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