Point Lookout: a free weekly publication of Chaco Canyon Consulting
Volume 3, Issue 15;   April 9, 2003: Conflict Haiku

Conflict Haiku

by

When tempers flare, or tension fills the air, many of us contribute to the stew, often without realizing that we do. Here are some haiku that describe some of the many stances we choose that can lead groups into tangles, or let those tangles persist once they form.

Here are some haiku to contemplate when you find yourself in the midst of difficult, uncomfortable, tense situations at work. Read them slowly. Notice how you feel about each one.

i

Whenever I try
to see things the way you do,
fear overcomes me.

ii

I will obey you.
Whatever you say is right.
The org chart says so.

iii

Disagreeing with
everyone else about this,
I must be confused.

iv

When the yelling starts
and people blame each other,
I flee for safety.

v

You don't understand
the complexities we face.
That's why I'm yelling.

vi

When compromise fails,
I strengthen my position
by finding allies.

vii

When we don't agree,
I try everything I know
to bring you around.

viii

When I ask myself,
"Why can't we all get along?"
the answer is them.

ix

We get in trouble
whenever we're together.
Why don't you shape up?

x

It would be better
for us all if only you
wouldn't question me.

xi

My approach to this
is clearly better than yours.
Why can't you see that?

xii

She does what she wants,
when she's ready to do it.
I must tell her boss.

xiii

Whenever I hear
an offer so generous
it just can't be true.

xiv

Things look very bleak.
We may never resolve this.
Tell me what's for lunch.

xv

We warned them again,
and they tried it anyway.
Now it's their problem.

xvi

I'll never forget
the pain you caused me back then.
And now you will pay.

xvii

I might hurt myself
by trying to destroy you,
but you deserve it.

xviii

She is pure evil.
We must do all we can do
to keep her contained.

xix

Listening to you
explain the way you see things
would make me seem weak.

xx

If you respect me
you'll agree with me on this.
If you don't — you don't.

xxi

You remind me of
someone who once did me wrong.
I see him not you.

xxii

I want what I want.
What you want does not matter.
Just do as I say.

xxiii

I am everything.
Everyone must bow to me.
Especially you.

xxiv

I must divide you,
because you both threaten me.
Dividing, I conquer.

xxv

She saved us last year.
Whatever she says is true.
We follow her lead.

xxvi

If you say we can,
success is a certainty.
We believe in you.

xxvii

He rarely attends
but we schedule it for him
in case he breaks free.

xxviii

Whatever you say,
however you insult me,
I always stay cool.

xxix

He hasn't a clue
how impossible that is,
but we must do it.

Writing haiku can be a relaxing, meditative exercise. The act can clear your mind. Try it. More about haiku Go to top Top  Next issue: Games for Meetings: IV  Next Issue

Reader Comments
Naomi Karten (www.nkarten.com)
Haiku that describe
Communication stances —
What a great idea!

101 Tips for Managing Conflict Are you fed up with tense, explosive meetings? Are you or a colleague the target of a bully? Destructive conflict can ruin organizations. But if we believe that all conflict is destructive, and that we can somehow eliminate conflict, or that conflict is an enemy of productivity, then we're in conflict with Conflict itself. Read 101 Tips for Managing Conflict to learn how to make peace with conflict and make it an organizational asset. Order Now!

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Many The Power Affect: How We Express Personal Powerpeople who possess real organizational power have a characteristic demeanor. It's the way they project their presence. I call this the power affect. Some people — call them power pretenders — adopt the power affect well before they attain significant organizational power. Unfortunately for their colleagues, and for their organizations, power pretenders can attain organizational power out of proportion to their merit or abilities. Understanding the power affect is therefore important for anyone who aims to attain power, or anyone who works with power pretenders. Read more about this program.

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