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Lesson on Conflict from the Galapagos Islands

June 30, 2009

As well as enthralling and enchanting, the Galapagos Islands are enlightening. Critters with complex social communities are abundant. It was fascinating to watch their dynamic interactions in species and among species.– Here is something I observed about conflict in a place where nature is still ‘natural’.

Every living thing has a conflict during the day. Some critter hisses when another of same or different species gets too close. They know when to fight, when to stand their ground, and when to retreat. When they lose, they find something else to do and someplace else to stand. When they win, they get back to their day. They carry grudges, sure, but it doesn’t seem to define their lives. It isn’t personal. They found the balance between remembering that individual hisses so don’t get too close, and moving on without seeking revenge for the hissing.

We talk about needing work- life balance in our complex lives. I suggest it would also be healthy to have work-life-conflict balance, since our conflicts are just as inevitable as those of the critters.

Filed Under: Conflict Competence      

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