Solving Conflicts
Conflict Resolution
Part One


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Slide Show Presentation
Genuine vs Counterfeit Character Strengths is a Paradigm Change that Challenges Everything You Thought You Knew About Character -- Which One's Do You Have?

Automated Relationship
& Character Coaching

Chapter 1
Do You Want To Fight?

Chapter 2
Diamonds ...or Rocks?

Chapter 3
A Little Out Of Balance
(Character Symmetry)

Chapter 4

Chapter 5
Wet Sand Bricks
& Blindfolds
(What Is character?)

Chapter 6
The World's Greatest Battle!
(Part One)

Chapter 7
The World's Greatest Battle!
(Part Two)

Chapter 8
Solving Conflicts 101 The ABC's

Chapter 9
Solving Conflicts 102 The Basics
(A mini-course)

Chapter 10
Before You
Accuse Me!

Chapter 11
Titanic Failure
(It Could Never Happen To Me!)

Part One



Read Solving Conflicts in PDF: Click Here
Read John Miller's Column at Click Here

Chapter Two
Diamonds or Rocks?
Learning to see the Value of Other People's Character Qualities

Many years ago, a slave in India came into possession of a stone he thought could fetch him a fair price. It was an intriguing steel blue stone, which at first glance looked to be a very large sapphire. He looked for a naïve outsider who he could swindle into paying far too much for the beautiful stone. A French traveler happened to pass by. He approached him with the intention of swindling the man out of his money.

However, the French traveler soon discovered the slave was asking too low of price for his sapphire. You see, the stone was not a sapphire at all. The French traveler quickly purchased the stone. That very stone later became known as the Hope Diamond. It is the most treasured diamond in the entire world!

Could you imagine having a diamond of such value in your hand and not know its value? Imagine how you would feel upon learning that you sold the stone for a tiny fraction of its true value.

However, the truth is many of us have done this. We have done this repeatedly in our relationships. It may have been with those who have been the closest to us!  We mistakenly identified the other person as though they were only sapphire, when in fact, they were actually a diamond.  We merely did not have the proper tools to identify them as the diamond they really were.

In the last chapter, we discussed identifying character strengths as a method to help solve conflicts. We are going to look more at that as we go; however, we are first going to take a look at something that does not help to solve conflicts at all. It is a very common problem. We will refer to this as the identifying opposites method. The opposite of a strength is a weakness.

This method occurs when we learn that a quality in someone else is missing. We know it is missing, because we have seen exactly the opposite of what is missing. For instance, instead of finding courage, we find cowardice. Instead of finding decisiveness, we find indecisiveness. Instead of finding honesty, we find dishonesty. Okay, you get the picture!

In effect, this method is like saying, "I know you are one way, but I would like you to be the opposite of that!" Imagine how you would feel if somebody came up to you and said, "You know ...I see that you have blonde hair! I hate blonde hair! If you would die your hair black, then I would be your friend." That would not be a good way to make friends, would it?

However, in terms of how we speak to each other about character, that is what we tend to do. For example, we may see cowardice in someone we know. Then, it would seem logical to go up to the person to say, "I would like to see you become more courageous!" It sounds good on paper. It seems to make sense. Yet in real life, it nearly always comes across offensively the person. It is like asking them to be the total opposite of what they truly are.

Now, think about it. Imagine this! Someone says this to you, "If you become completely opposite of what you are, then I will be your friend and like you." How would you respond to them? Of course, not very well. Simply put, the "identifying opposites" method does not work well at all. It nearly always causes conflict to occur. It nearly always comes across to the other person as "fault-finding". It nearly always results in either hurt feelings or arguments about who is right and who is wrong.

So then, is there another, better method?
The answer is a resounding,
"Yes, there is!"

The method is the one that we talked about in chapter one. It is the method of identifying character strengths ...not character weaknesses. However, character strengths come in two varieties. There are both genuine and counterfeit character strengths. The only thing you need to know for now is that counterfeit character strengths are not opposite of the genuine. A counterfeit can only be a counterfeit if there is a genuine to model it after.

Using a counterfeit character strength always results in
harm, injury,
or insult
to another and/or to ones' own self.

Try to recall something that you know that you did wrong recently. It may be difficult, but try it! Now try to remember what it was that you were thinking and feeling as you began to speak or act a certain way. There is a very good chance that at least for the moment you thought you were "in the right"...and not "in the wrong". There is a moment in time where we, at least briefly, feel like we are "in the right". It is because we instinctively believe that we are using a genuine trait of some kind.

Perhaps we had a momentary lapse of good judgment, and we failed to see that we were using a counterfeit trait. In the middle of a lapse in good judgment, using a counterfeit trait often will feel just like the use of a genuine trait.

For most of us, it is not until we have calmed down a bit that we begin to realize we spoke or acted poorly. Often, we have no clue why we did what we did or said what we said. We only know we did something that was wrong. Sometimes we are sorry; sometimes we are too proud to admit it. However, we rarely know which of the genuine qualities we misused as a counterfeit. It is impossible to improve what we do not know is in need of improvement. Is it not? If you don't know what part of your car engine needs repair, you cannot fix it. So it is the same with your own Character.

If everyone had a perfect character, there would be no conflicts. Love and respect for others are at the heart of all genuine character traits. It is hard to imagine a world that would be free of conflict. In our world, conflicts occur every day.

In all the many ways that we relate to other people, our first choice is for there to be no conflict. Some choose to handle their conflicts by avoiding the issues completely. Yet their silence can make the conflict worse for the other person. The conflict then remains unsolved.

Others handle their conflicts in the other extreme. Their conflicts may then grow into explosive conflicts. You may fall between these two extremes. Yet, it is certain that you are doing something that adds to the conflicts that you face.

At Solving Conflicts, the primary goal is to help you identify your dominant character strengths.

In this process, you will learn what your genuine and counterfeit strengths are. You may be shocked to learn you have genuine character strengths you never knew you had. The more you know about your own self, the better prepared you will be to make better choices. You may be surprised to find out your true character potential.

At Solving Conflicts, the secondary goal is to help you identify the dominant character strengths of others.

In this process, you will learn what others' genuine and counterfeit strengths are. You may also be shocked to learn someone has genuine character strengths you never knew he/she had. The more you learn about others, the better prepared you will be to help them make better choices. You may also be surprised to find out the true character potential of others that you never knew before.

Uncover the true diamond sparkle in yourself and in others!
    1. Avoid conflict through wise interaction with others.
    2. Solve conflict through wise interaction with others.
    3. Then learn about yourself from the conflict so that you do not repeat it.
    4. Also, learn about the person with whom you had the conflict so you can interact better with them next time.

Truly, some people have lived through bad situations. People in their lives have given them poor messages about their self-worth. Whether that accounts for your life experience or not, it is like a breath of fresh air to discover character strengths you never knew you had. It can be like discovering a new roadmap for your life.

Solving Conflicts not only tells where you have been, where you are right now, but also helps you get where you want to go in the future.

At times, we give poor messages to those around us, to those who are closest to us, and even to ourselves. It may be for reasons we do not even understand. However, it is possible to grow past that one good choice at time.

Solving Conflicts
will help you to discover the true diamond sparkle in your character and in the character of others. This is a worthy goal for everyone in every relationship.

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Solving Conflicts
Conflict Resolution
Part Two

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