“To observe people in conflict is a necessary part of a child's education. It helps him to understand and accept his own occasional hostilities and to realize that differing opinions need not imply an absence of love.” … Milton R Sapirstein

When children can see others disagree and disagree with respect and they see that nothing bad happens, what a terrific example! Disagreement is part of life. Becoming upset is part of life. The lesson to the children in our lives is all about how we treat ourselves and others during and after conflict.

Have you ever observed a child misbehaving and then hear their parent exclaim, “Who taught you how to behave like THAT?” Or “Where did you hear THAT word?” Of course my favorite example of this comes from years ago when I worked in the children’s clothing section of a large department store. A little girl of about five years of age dropped something and then said “Oh S**T!” Her mother smacked her and said, “Where did you learn to say that?” I had to turn my head very quickly and hide my laughter because the little girl said, “You just said it outside in the parking lot mommy.”

While I do agree that it is important for children to see the adults around them participate in conflict. I think this quote can and should be expanded to include team members, peers, subordinates, management, friends and family. YOU are a role model to the people around you. YOU have the ability to show the people close to you how to navigate conflict.

You don’t have to be in an official leadership role for this to be true. There are many people who don’t have fancy titles who set the tone for the behavior for their teams or in their offices. These are the people whose behavior is closely watched and mirrored by others around them. This could be YOU.

There is no reason for you to hide it when you have a difficult day. Just do the best you can to navigate the day with grace and humor.

YOU are a role model whether you know it or not! YOU have what it takes to set a good example.

Author's Bio: 

Margaret developed a passionate belief that it takes courage and skill to be human at work and that all individuals have a responsibility to treat each other with dignity, respect and compassion.

Motivated by her beliefs and the desire to make a difference in the lives of others, Margaret acted on her vision by founding Meloni Coaching Solutions, Inc. Her vision is to create a group of successful individuals who are at peace with their authentic selves; a group of people who help and support others; a group who bring humanity to the office and thrive because of it. Margaret sees a world where achieving peace and achieving success go hand-in-hand.

Margaret’s students and clients often find that what she really brings them is freedom to bring their authentic selves to the office. As a former Information Technology Executive, Margaret always knew her preference was for the people behind the technology. Now Margaret brings those beliefs to individuals from many professional backgrounds. The common thread across her client base is the desire to experience peace at work and the recognition that peace is not absence of conflict, peace is the ability to cope with conflict. For these people, Margaret Meloni is truly ‘A Path to Peace’. ™

You can learn more about Margaret and her courses, programs, and products at: www.MargaretMeloni.com

Additional Resources covering Conflict Resolution can be found at:

Website Directory for Conflict Resolution
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Margaret Meloni, the Official Guide to Conflict Resolution