Change Your Life. 'Prevent' (not Manage) Conflicts. The Neuroscience based Tools you need! | Harish Walavalkar | Skillshare

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Change Your Life. 'Prevent' (not Manage) Conflicts. The Neuroscience based Tools you need!

teacher avatar Harish Walavalkar

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

16 Lessons (50m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Clips from the course

    • 3. I ran away from my home

    • 4. Reptilian Brain Activation

    • 5. The Triggers

    • 6. The See Saw effect

    • 7. Conflicts means Lose Lose

    • 8. Tool Focus

    • 9. 17 Cows challenge

    • 10. Tool The Right Priority

    • 11. The M P E Q Technique

    • 12. You will need this to Prevent Conflicts

    • 13. Story of SR_ Ultimate show of Respect

    • 14. The Six ingredients to build your Credibility & Respect

    • 15. The Spirit of co equal (Part 2)

    • 16. Concluding!

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About This Class

Imagine if even 50% of the time you are now forced to invest in debating, arguing, convincing people, is eliminated… what would it mean for you? What can you do with 50% of the time saved? What new creative, fun or learning activities can you include? What would happen to the quality of your Life?

And, what happens if you continue to operate in ignorance of these 2 weird parts in the brain that play a role in conflicts/collaboration? What happens to the quality of your Life?


Why have we not learnt our lesson from thousands of years of History. Why are schools, colleges unable to foster collaboration? Why have they not been able to wipe out Conflicts? Wouldn’t you want to live in a conflict free world?

Why is the world mostly in conflict, with some pockets doing great collaboration. Shouldn’t it be the other way round?

Conflicts have existed for thousands of years in the past, in the present and probably will continue to exist in future, because no school or college across the planet teaches us about these 2 parts that we have in our brains. If we are operating in ignorance, how can we prevent conflicts?

Today, I know why conflicts happen. I know the root cause!! I know what comes in the way. I want to share this information with you and will encourage you to share this forward with as many people as you can. Your friends family colleagues, kids in the family, etc. Please share and help make this world a better place.

Conflicts have existed for thousands of years however, we can PREVENT it, and deal with potentially explosive situations more MATURELY, INTELLIGENTLY, In a more RESPONSIVE not REACTIVE manner. Rather than get anxious, agitated, angry, depressed when conflicts happen- we can work towards PREVENTING it from occurring in the first place. CONFLICTS are INEVITABLE. But prevention is possible. COLLABORATION is possible.


Neuroscience is helping us uncover the role these two parts in our brain play in conflict/collaboration.

By simply learning this little bit of science, about how these two parts in the human brain works, goes a long way in Prevention. Identifying and diffusing potentially explosive situations well in advance. Before it is too late. That’s half the battle won. This simple awareness of what these parts do, is enough to put us in a strong position to Prevent Conflicts.

Once armed with this information, you can use the Tools shared in this course to create an awesome life for yourself. One, where you become the go-to person for others. The dependable leader, who is able to foster collaboration, build strong teams, networks at your workplace and in your life.


Conflict and collaboration are at the opposite ends of a continuum. We are often trained to operate on the left side of this continuum- that is, to 'Manage' conflicts!

Managing conflicts may or may not lead to collaboration. Remember if a conflict happens, the damage has been done.Yes you can salvage, but it’s going to be a long road to winning back collaboration. Therefore it is best to PREVENT, and this Is the keyword: "PREVENT” conflicts!

Secondly, because, normally in conflict, both parties lose. As you will see in this course, if a conflict happens, It’s already too late. The consequence of a conflict mostly is lose-lose. While the expectation is win–lose, a win–lose scenario is extremely rare and hence foolish to aim for. That would be akin to winning a lottery. The course therefore recommends a much more effective option, which is to 'prevent' the occurrence of a conflict all together. And there is a scientific way on how you can do that. Think about it, what would you prefer? To manage a conflict, Or not end up in a conflict in the first place?

If you understand the wisdom and you opt for the latter, this course is for you.


- Prevent Conflicts & build Collaboration at Work, and in Life

- Six ingredients to Build Your Credibility & Respect

- Tools & Techniques for a more Positive Manifestation & Outcomes from Life and its various Situations

- Neuroscience of the Two interesting Parts in the Brain that Play a Role in Conflicts. Explained in Simple, Easy to understand and Apply language.

- Why is it best to 'Prevent' Conflict. Why it's already too late, and why  Managing or Salvaging is not a good idea.

- A fool-proof Technique to Demonstrate You are Listening

- The Triggers to the Reptilian Brain and the culprit, the root cause to all Conflicts in the World.

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1. Introduction: My name is Harish and I have about three decades of work experience. 12 years ago, I discovered my Passion- Executive & Life Coaching Most of my work has been with the Big 4 management consulting firms. Neuroscience of these two parts in the brain Schools, colleges, and all the education... Why is the world mostly in conflicts Shouldn't it be the other way? teaches us about these two parts Conflicts are inevitable, but Collaboration is possible! a strong position to prevent conflicts You can use the tools shared in the course, share this information with your friends, family, colleagues, kids in the family, etc. 2. Clips from the course: Now that you've learned about reptilian brain, the limbic system, the amygdala. Let's see if you can identify a potentially explosive situation this has fastest and the highest impact on your... Look around you at your workplace, meetings, etc. it becomes difficult not to agree with the person, isn't it? I mean, something forces you to take it seriously the power many competent people out there who have not been able to deliver to their potential. your boss or your manager The same part would fear And this is the reason why we treat people below us so shabbily The expectation is win-lose A win-lose scenario is extremely rare and hence foolish to aim for I was Coaching this potential MD candidate was promised that he is going to become the managing director. His promotion got deferred by two years. Candidate was frustrated. This comment raised a concern in my mind Why we humans, the most intelligent animal on the planet, have not learned from thousands of years of history. What comes in the way? 3. I ran away from my home: It was my first year in engineering I was not sure how hard I am supposed to study So I give it my best! checkout my results. three lists The first list was for First class students Second class students Third class They didn't call it Third class to save them from the embarrassment Pass class So there were three lists on this rectangular notice board first, second, and pass class Now, I was a miserable student 18 years until engineering. So my mindset was And hence, I went to check my name Pass class, of course. So I go to the pass class list to check my name. I didn't find it. Then I go to the second class to take my name. I didn't find it. Then I go to the first-class I go back to the pass class. I check again but No! Negative Thoughts How can I go back They're going to get disappointed So I make a decision But then, thank God, I did not another idea hostel make a phone call and tell my parents what happened not face-to-face So when I go back to the hostel, actually I had studied hard enough to qualify for a scholarship, some other list which I never saw. if I had ran away what would have happened? Thank God The question therefore is, Why? Why do we jump to conclusions? Is it just you and me? Everybody? Turns out It's not a bad habit some people have, some don't It is because of this part in the brain Its job make us jump to conclusions negative And therefore, the culprit, the root cause of all conflicts in this world, is this part! 4. Reptilian Brain Activation: Think about it the most intelligent animal on the planet have not learned from years of history what comes in the way? This Part in the brain experience this part when it gets triggered visualize Please close your eyes. You are finding yourself in a scary Jungle It's a dense forest no idea how you landed up here scared unfamiliar territory you don't know what to do the sun is about to set going to get dark soon. You have to do whatever you have to, quickly. just then, from the corner of your right eye you see some leaves moving suspiciously Visualize who do you think it was? Here is my guess. Lion/Tiger/Snake/Bear Very high chance that you have taught of these four Did I guess right? If you have not visualized the scene sincerely in your mind, human, wind or deer but in all sincerity visualized yourself in an unfamiliar jungle high likelihood of you thinking not more than these four Lion, tiger, bear on snake. Low Probability Elephant came to your mind low probability, a crocodile came to your mind or a hyena or a rabbit or a cow, came to your mind. So how did this happen? the job of the reptilian brain. We have something called the reptilian brain in our brains. And its job is to put negative worst kind of thoughts in our minds what is it the Reptilian Brain comprises of several parts the limbic system Within the limbic system the amygdala put us in a negative frame of mind. Why do we need a part like this? imagine if we did not have a part which make us jump to negative conclusions positive creatures if, positive if the leaves move in the jungle we may not think of the worst We may think of good scenarios Rabbit Butterfly we may not run away from the scene. What is the chance that if you don't run away, and a tiger or lion turns up? What is the chance of survival? Hence for the sake of survival Nature evolved this part It's best bet was to jump to a negative conclusion you don't think of a Crocodile or Hyena Lion or tiger on a snake or a bear, the most dangerous animals. And it makes you run away the best chance of Survival Today we are in a concrete jungle But we still have that same part It continues to function like in jungle days hence all the conflicts in the world meeting room Boss looks unhappy The part gets triggered. colleague disagrees with you Part gets triggered. argument with spouse part gets triggered The lesson... once this part gets triggered, it puts you in a negative state The negative state of mind can be classified in three or four categories. Two of these categories are known You might have heard of the fight or flight response? The job of this part is to put you either in a fight mode, or flight mode. question Just when? That depends on subordinate does something wrong with you. That reptilian brain puts you in fight more powerful than him However, if your senior, your boss, your manager, the same part puts you in an avoid or flight mode And this is the reason why we treat people below us, so shabbily. reason why we always suck up That's the harsh reality. The activation of this part is what causes all the conflicts on this planet. And if you can just recognize that, I don't have to be in this negative state consequence of my part getting triggered awareness like this happening in your brain improves your chances of not letting you get swayed by the flood of emotions. Fight, Fear emotion, etc. unnecessary caused by the reptilian brain I hope you're catching the wisdom. 5. The Triggers: So what is the lesson? This reptilian brain, the limbic system, the amygdala source of all conflicts doesn't allow us to collaborate the brain is designed for survival don't jump to conclusions like you, other person also has a reptilian brain. He or she can also experience a trigger in the reptilian brain. If that happens, none of you would be a state to take informed decisions. 6. The See Saw effect: understand relationship that reptilian brain, representing by my left hand, has with the prefrontal cortex, which sits behind the forehead. It's job is to Think easier name thinking brain job of prefrontal cortex is to think cognitive decisions, logic thinking brain represent with my right hand. So this is the thinking brain and this is the reptilian brain. And they have a relationship like a see-saw. So when one is active, the other is dormant And if trigger becomes active thinking brain becomes dormant So what does that mean? It means that normally we humans are like this This is the default state We are positive, we are collaborating, we are thinking we are taking logical decisions trigger it turns on remember its job negative state That's problem number one. Problem number two is, thinking gets compromised. So why does it work like this? Because it has the same glucose supply. Glucose is the fuel of the brain. The supply line is the same So either the glucose is going to this part or the other part At any point of time, only one part is active if this becomes active, the other becomes inactive oversimplifying the concept when a person is angry makes a lot of mistakes thinking part shuts down if you explain logic to an angry person can he understand logic? You might have the best logic but why is it not obvious to this person? logic part is not functioning So it's pointless to give logic Why is it important to prevent conflicts? Visualize a continuum On one end of the continuum is conflict, and on the other is Collaboration trained to to manage conflicts damage has been done best to Prevent And the keyword is PREVENT In a conflict, both parties lose prevent rather than manage The consequences of a conflict is lose-lose expectation is win-lose A win-lose scenario is extremely rare and hence foolish That would be akin to winning a lottery much more effective option which is to prevent the occurrence of a conflict altogether scientific way on how you can do that Think about it What would you prefer? To manage? or not end up in a Conflict? 7. Conflicts means Lose Lose: Conflicts end in a lose-lose situation. Conflicts usually have a sad end. They are good sometimes in small dose but can spiral out of control Conflicts can lead to unwanted consequences. You might win small battles, but could lose the war. consequence of conflict is- nobody wins long-term This happened with my uncle car He couldn't drive very well, he hired a diver. Gave him a nice salary. out for a spin dense traffic bikers, cabs my uncle would jump it may appear to some that the driver won he was successful in putting my uncle in a terrible situation but did he gain anything? Nothing! On the contrary, he lost salary He lost his salary. it can take six or seven months to find another job lost out on all that salary Remember, the consequence of a conflict is almost always, lose-lose 8. Tool Focus: The winner gets to keep a million dollars. Person also needs to pay Tax Now there are two kinds of reactions depends on the person focuses on the Tax cut and becomes unhappy. where you focus... gain or loss your happiness This plays a big role in conflicts If you focus continuously on what you are going to lose you are never going to come out of a conflict feeling happy. But if you can shift your focus from what you are losing to what you are gaining one of the best best mindset preventing conflicts Little Krishna He was with his friends One of the Gopi (friend) was jealous because Krishna was always positive. It seemed as if he never had a Reptilian Brain :) So the Gopi (friend) is jealous. old dog dog is in bad shape skinny diseased my chance to teach Krishna a lesson He calls Krishna Points to the dog Krishna looks at the dog and the first thing he says is, "What beautiful eyes" 9. 17 Cows challenge: we assume that one is right. the other party is bad. between two wrongs between two goods So both parties could be wrong both parties could be right still end up in conflict "Expanding our Thinking" the reptilian brain, the limbic system, the amygdala, lose-lose Let's see if you can identify a potentially explosive situation, you can train yourself to think of a win-win when faced with a win-lose but it needs a counter intuitive approach Let's see if you can forge a win-win 10. Tool The Right Priority: when conflict is inevitable Top of your List. your nation is under attack, then you have to forget all differences between your boss, your neighbors, your colleagues. You have to come together and be one Team! If your neighborhood is under attack, forget your differences with your neighbor and come together. You and your colleague having a conflict not you first or the colleague first, my organization first! You and me are not as important as our organization. good mindset It also allows you to defuse conflicts and prevent it 11. The M P E Q Technique: No matter what role or responsibility you have, you need this skill. tendency to fall into trap For example, the other person comes to you with a problem. if you know the solution immediately give solution or advice giving a solution you have lost an opportunity demonstrate that you have listened You're demonstrating your eagerness, your excitement to give a solution may or may not Jumping the Gun M for Mirroring listen to the words reflect back like a mirror Now is the time for step two The difference between paraphrasing and mirroring is use a different set of words. So when you are using a different set of words, forces the other person to say Yes, that's what I meant. Or, No, that's not what I meant. It's fine. deeper understanding Step number 3 most people don't do this the emotional state of the other E for Emotions You have to call out the exact emotion If the other person is feeling angry, you cannot say you're feeling depressed. Once the other person feels completely listened to you are now in a position to go to the last step of this technique. Q for Questioning And remember, like I said before, why questions How What the other person think more deeply rather than coming out and giving a solution find his or her own solution! playing the role of a Coach That's the best-case scenario to support the person and make the person feel listened to. 12. You will need this to Prevent Conflicts: If you're able to build this, conflicts may dissolve, before they come near you. You may not even know that there was a conflict brewing other people have in their minds for you that other people carry for you, how credible do they think you are need to have a very high score strong position For example, visualize your workplace high-stakes meeting with your colleagues, with your seniors, All of them are around you in the meeting. And there is this one person who carries a very high credibility in your mind. you know this person is highly credible lot of respect for that person. If that person makes a suggestion, Would you take it seriously? another person at an equal position, but in your mind, not credible. You do not carry respect for this other person And if this person gives a suggestion, how likely are you to take this seriously? That's where we really need a really high score when it comes to credibility & respect. How can we build this image genuine credibility & respect in other people's mind? 13. Story of SR_ Ultimate show of Respect: Here is a story about a certain gentleman by the name Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan He apparently was fantastic teacher a fascinating incident in his life, grabbed my attention! go to Kolkata and start teaching. He comes out of his house. What does he see? He sees that the horse cart is there, but no horses. His students had assembled and had taken the horses away asked him not to worry, sit inside the cart and they are going to pull the horse cart as a show of their "respect" towards him. And it is recorded history that the students with tears in their eyes. How did he end up with so much respect? I asked myself if I were to resign from my organization today, would my colleagues 'pull my horse cart'? They might throw a party :( And so I started investigating, I wish I had a time machine where I could go back and observe and learn from him. couldn't lay my hands on any material. I was getting disappointed But then I realized that he had published a paper in an international journal Surely there must be a clue in there. So I scan through the paper and sure enough I find what I was looking for 14. The Six ingredients to build your Credibility & Respect: this probably has the fastest and the highest impact If a competent person makes a suggestion, it becomes difficult not to agree with the person, isn't it? something forces you to take power of competence. If your best friend makes a suggestion about a water leak issue a competent plumber, makes another Would you listen to your friend or plumber? even though you love your friend more Similarly at the workplace at meetings and in conflicts, if you want others to listen to you first need to build your Competence in that area, but don't stop at being excellent. Lot of excellent, competent people out there go for extra-ordinary. If you can grow your competence to extraordinary levels, your credibility and respect score is going to touch the sky. Competence is like Potential Energy. We know you have what it takes, but do you have a history of doing it? Do you have a track record? luck, crumbling under pressure, etc. Having a history of delivering the goods, delivering the results, is the key! A competent person gets overlooked for a promotion. A seemingly less competent person gets the promotion. Make sure you have a Track record that you can do the job. I was coaching this one potential MD he was managing director -1 level He was aspiring to become the managing director and was promised, he is going to become the managing director. promotion got deferred by 2 years This comment raised a concern in my mind evidence that you can do the job This probably is the most underrated Big reason for erosion of your credibility & respect score. It's like an invisible force doing its job at a subconscious level. In order to understand commitments, let's compare it with honesty. a commitment to senior that you will complete this job tomorrow. you will realize that you are not in a position to complete your reputation is at stake, courage and you call up your senior you will not be able to do the job. In a low stakes situation, almost everyone is honest When the stakes are high Liked. Respected. And that is the difference between honesty and commitment. It's not courage, but confidence for me. Is bravery, willingness to proceed in spite of fear. Confidence is the feeling of comfort, certainty, and the belief in your ability that comes through repetitions are practice. For example, public speaking assignment you are being courageous You pick up the challenge and you deliver a speech. It's a bad job because Would this give you respect? Probably not. But let's say you have practiced well and in a public speaking assignment, you're doing a good job. Will this get you respect? Yes. being in a position to do a good job It gives you confidence. And hence, confidence is an important ingredient probably is the most trickiest of the ingredients another invisible force. mirror neurons job is to make an estimation of the emotional state of other person puts us in that same emotional state feeling And once we realize the emotion of the person, we are in a position to make a guess on what's going on in their minds So we use the mirror neurons to read minds And you know what? strangers can read each other's minds with 20% accuracy babies are able to identify whether that expression of adult is authentic or not! So we have the means, we have the resources to make a good guess of what's going on in the mind of the other have a bad Intent for the other person There is a 20% chance the other person catches it. What happens to your Credibility & Respect? It will go South Good Intent And you cannot fake it the mirror neurons will catch that too arrogance- opposite of Humility Manipulation opposite of Authenticity Spirit of co-equal Would the principal, respect his opinion? Would they take him seriously? Hope you see a link between your credibility & respect, and your ability to prevent conflicts 15. The Spirit of co equal (Part 2) : all are co-equal not equal Equal means exactly the same. No difference. there is a difference, an individuality in all of us. We are all made from the same stuff and that we balance each other. No one person is higher or lower than the other. So where did that come from? To understand how the spirit of co-equal is linked Let's look at this representation of everyday life. Let's assume certain social standing, certain social status. And we go for a meeting. we come across a person of a lower standing (as per some cultures) I don't like to put it this way, but in some cultures, a security guard In some cultures, they are lower than us. Now, imagine if we treat as our co-equal What do you think happens in his mind? Will he respect us more, or less? seems to be working this way. and assuming that we are entering the Office of Chairman we are at a lower social status. But in our minds, we are operating from a spirit of co-equal We are completely comfortable, respectful We are giving the chairman a lot of respect for his seniority, for his experience, overwhelmed If we're operating with the chairman. in the spirit of co-equal what do you think happens in the mind of the Chairman? continue to treat you as somebody lower But let's come to the most difficult case. There's only one promotion. more knowledgeable You are not feeling anxious, feeling defensive completely comfortable acknowledging What do you think will happen?