Transforming Church Team Blog
resourcing leaders…reenvisioning the future

Conflict Basics: part 3 of 3

03102634412Blue Zone

Blue Zone behavior is focused on the organization’s values and mission. It is a way of moving out of the Red Zone by focusing on underlying issues (even when the underlying issues may be personal). But Blue Zone behavior is motivated by protecting the organization, rather than self. It begins when a person becomes aware of their own Red Zone and acknowledges that. Blue Zone behavior then moves a person to try to pace the person with whom they are experiencing conflict. Pacing involves getting into the other person’s world – seeing things from their perspective, affirming that perspective, and demonstrating empathy (through words and non-verbals). Blue Zone behavior also involves reframing problems – away from the unsolveable Red Zone to the underlying issue that is inhibiting performance. The Blue Zone allows us to have conflict, even heated conflict, around ideas, values, mission, and strategy. Red Zone conflict moves us away from team. Blue Zone conflict moves us beyond team – to a common purpose.
• Creating the Blue Zone is essentially the life work of everyone who aspires to lead a deeply meaningful life.
• The first step is of course is the most difficult. It requires that we are completely honest with ourselves in identifying our core issues – and by extension honest with those around us.
• The Blue Zone is the willingness to accept responsibility for all our behavior and the consequences of our behavior.
• It is the continual refusal to shift responsibility for our actions to anyone or to any institution or to any system.
• Awareness of the response sequence helps us to consciously decide about our thoughts, feelings and actions.
• Notice our reaction
• Identify our core issues being triggered
• Decide on alternative constructive response
• We can’t control what happens to us, but we can choose how to respond.
• Accepting responsibility for our behavior allows us to change the behavior that is inconsistent with our most personal values.
• And the inverse is also true!
• Accepting responsibility for our own behavior protects us from accepting responsibility for other’s behavior.

Healthy boundaries identify and separate the self from others and consequently are the foundation of the Blue Zone.


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