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How to LEAD in a conflict situation

Last week, I talked to you about the magic PIL for handling conflict with toxic people. PIL stands for Pause, Inquire, LEAD. This week, I want to talk to you about how to LEAD, even when it feels like the other person has more power. To recap, when we’re experiencing conflict with a toxic person, we often feel like this:

Even when we are blaming ourselves for their behavior, it is still like thunderbolts pointed at us that we have to defend ourselves from. When we follow the first steps of pausing and inquiring, we can separate what we can control from what we can’t control. We can separate what is our responsibility from what is not our responsibility.

This week, we talk about how to take the LEAD in a conflict situation.

Taking the LEAD in a conflict situation means thinking of yourself as the adult in the conflict. If the other person is acting like a child, it is time to treat him like a child. If the other person is throwing a tantrum and unable to manage his emotions, what would you expect from a child? How would you respond to a child? The key to answering this is in four steps:

L=Let other people be wrong.

Let other people be wrong, especially about you. What does Beyonce think when people criticize her? Do you think she’s losing sleep over every person on the internet who is wrong about her? Hopefully not.

Or, think about it like this: If a 2 year old is wrong about you, how would you react? Would that be devastating? Would you need to defend yourself from the 2 year old? Hopefully not.

People are wrong all the time. We all have our own experiences and our own stories about what they mean. All of us are wrong most of the time. If you can let other people be wrong about you, you can disengage from the struggle of trying to control what they think. You can’t control that anyway. It’s not easy to let people be wrong, but it is worth the effort of letting go.

E=Expect to be triggered.

The way other people interact with you is supposed to bring up every lesson you are meant to learn in life. This will trigger all of your negative thoughts about yourself and your negative feelings. This is supposed to happen so that you can grow.

Powerful leaders don’t run away from challenges, they look for them. If you are facing something triggering, respect your body and take care of it, but understand that this is an opportunity for growth, not something you need to run away from.

A=Accept reality.

What if reality as it is right now, in the moment that you are reading these words, is perfect? What if the exact challenges you are facing are what will take you to the next, stronger, more brilliant version of yourself?

If we resist what reality is, we can’t impact it. For example, if I think it’s not acceptable that anyone sexually harasses another person, then it is not acceptable for me to talk about harassment or acknowledge it when it happens. If I see something that seems harassing, I have to pretend it’s something else or make excuses, or argue with myself about whether that is what I really saw.

If I accept the reality that many people sexually harass other people, I can ask the most important question: What next? How am I going to encounter reality in a way that adds the exact magic I was meant to bring? How am I going to encounter reality in a way that offers peace instead of more conflict?

D=Do what you want.

You guessed it from the last paragraph – add what you were meant to add. Bring the magic that is you to the situation. Embrace what you are good at and what you love, and do that. Don’t hold yourself back trying to manage what other people think about you or trying to pretend they are behaving differently than they are.

Go full force in the direction that is in your soul.


If you know someone going through a conflict situation, who could use some help implementing these ideas, encourage her to sign up for a free strategy session here:

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