Conflict between human beings is arguably as old as time itself. In personal relationships and the workplace, we have studied conflict resolution at length providing countless models and tips most of which are quite good. A different perspective on this matter is unveiling itself based on neuroscience. It is not so much on how to deal with conflict when it occurs, as much as it is why conflict would exist in the first place. The same issue or person could be a problem with one person and a non-issue to another, right? So it cannot possibly be the ‘person’ or ‘problem’ that is the issue. It has to be the emotional value ascribed to the other person or issue by the beholder. Conflict is therefore, not a deductive or rational process. It is an interpretation process which is based on how the beholder is interpreting said issue.
All athletes know that as the competitive event progresses, no matter the sport, there is clearly physical fatigue. If it’s tennis, you are certainly more tired in the third set than you are in the first set. If you play golf, you are also more tired on the back nine than you are on the front nine, and so goes all sports. The physical body has a finite amount of glycogen (energy for physical activity), and our muscles heat as they exercise dehydrating the body and wearing them out. Similarly, athletes also emotionally fatigue as both a symptom of the physical fatigue where aches send messages to the brain as well as the neurological fatigue of having to focus on the competition. The same logic applies to working professionals who show up to work at 8AM and leave at 5PM. There is emotional fatigue from the proceedings of the day that impacts their intellectual capacity. Athletes make poor decisions towards the end of a game that in hindsight (or in practice) they would never make but the combination of other fatigue with emotional fatigue dilutes good decision making.