What does conflict transformation actually transform?
This question was posed by Christopher Mitchell, Professor Emeritus of Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University, in his 2002 essay, Beyond Resolution: What Does Conflict Transformation Actually Transform? (Peace and Conflict Studies, Vol. 9, No 1, pp. 1-23.)
This is my answer: Conflict transformation transforms people’s perception of what their relationship makes possible.
Presence is not the same as charisma. Charisma often relies on fame, skilful acting or the projection of an aura of specialness. Presence arises from the depths of a person’s being.
Presence is a function of listening. It shows up in your responses to people’s questions. When you are present, your answers will fall directly into their world and they will know you have been listening. They will feel heard. When people feel heard they feel supported and valued. This is a platform for trust. Trust is a specific result of presence.
Presence is a function of sharing. People experience you as present when you share authentically from your own experience, without withholding.
All Successful Leaders Need This Quality!
Whatever our context or situation for leadership, whether it is in a commercial organisation,
an industry, a charity, the health service, a school, our family, community or our neighbourhood,
our capacity for both self reflection and self awareness is vital to our ability to manage ourselves,
our relationships, our communication, our decisions and the impact we have on others around us.