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In October I became a National Member of the National Speaker’s Association, a premier organization for professional speakers. When I found out that I was “in.” I set-up a little taller. Walked more assuredly. Felt an heir of accomplishment.

Not because of the title “National Member,” but because of the organization associated with the title.

At their annual conference in July, the NSA made a huge announcement. They had changed the name of the organization. Their new name: “Platform.”

The rumblings started slowly at first, but it didn’t take long for NSA to get the message: they made a huge mistake!

The name “Platform” was already monopolized by Michael Hyatt, former CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishing. He wrote the New York Times best seller: “Platform ~ How to Get Noticed in a Noisy World.” He also owns Platform University, an on-line community for proud members like me who want to become authors, entrepreneurs, etc.

Michael Hyatt, a man of great integrity, voiced his opinion on his blog. His passionate sea of followers did the same.

I was delighted that the NSA also acted with integrity. They were quick to respond and give their followers a voice.

I voiced my opinion and sat back to watch what ensued. You can click here to read and watch the final decision.

But what happens when someone makes a mistake against you, you voice your concern, and they deny any wrong doing?

Almost succinctly with the Platform uproar, someone had done something to hurt me. I had proof, but instead of going to that person, someone else said they would take care of the situation. They did not.

The situation festered with me and I began to undermine our relationship.

When I couldn’t stand my misery any longer I went to the person. I wanted to bring the situation to light. I told them I knew what they had done to me and I forgave them. I confessed my wrong doing in letting the situation fester, and asked forgiveness.

At this point I expected doves and angels to ascend and the room to fill with sounds of the Hallelujah chorus. At last! Two imperfect people coming together to work out their differences. Conflict resolution at its best.

Instead I strapped on my life vest and took a long ride up their river of denial.

I listened to one denial after another as to why this “crime” was not committed. I re-butted once with my proof. They denied again and said “Well, I don’t know what to tell you. I didn’t do what you say I did.” I knew that this person was not interested in resolution. In their mind they had done no wrong. I felt as if I had no voice in the matter.

The most freeing day of my life was the day I was able to take responsibility for my mistakes. At that moment my life seemed to take on new meaning. I was free to be me. I no longer had to lie and pretend I was perfect.

A few lessons I learned from the Platform mishap and my own mishap was:

  1. Admit that you made a mistake
  2. Be quick to apologize
  3. Be quick to forgive
  4. Give others the opportunity to be heard
  5. I will not change who I am because someone else will not take responsibility for their actions.

How do you handle conflict in your life? Do you think of conflict as confrontational or does it help you to grow in your relationships?

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Copyright © 2016 Sheryl Buckner