Today, I have the pleasure of presenting Aikido and Conflict Competencies for the World Bank Internal Justice Day. The crux of this presentation focuses on the concept of ‘masakatsu agatsu’ – True victory is victory over oneself. This concept is central to the mastery of both the Japanese martial art of Aikido and the development of conflict competencies. When confronted by difficult behavior regardless of your position, if you can control yourself and skillfully manage the situation, you will be much better off than if you react to your impulses.
Many times we tell ourselves that the situation will get better only if the other person changes. Deep down inside ourselves, we know that this is not true. In every situation you have more options than you think. True victory is victory over yourself – your impulses, your fears, your doubts and your desires. As the old adage goes, ‘it takes two to tango.’ This also applies to conflict. How we engage in conflict is what makes the difference between the outcome being constructive or destructive. How you think about conflict and how you respond to it can determine if you are a sought after co-worker or one to be avoided.