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Inner Sanctum vs Outer Sanctum of Conflict: The Aussie Men’s Tennis Team

January 28, 2020

Hey everybody its Adrian here at the
Australian Open watching the tennis. This year reminded me of a story from
last year’s tournament that really demonstrates how conflict can work for
you or can work against you. Now about this time last year the Aussie’s Men’s ATP
Cup team with Lleyton Hewitt as their captain had a little bit of controversy amongst the
group. The team wasn’t going so well on the court and off the court
Bernard Tomic, one of the guys on Lleyton’s team called out Lleyton publicly
in a media scrum. Bernard Tomic actually challenged Lleyton, he said that Lleyton was
ruining the Australian tennis system. He said “You know Lleyton, does anybody even
like you anymore?” and he actually questioned why Lleyton was still playing.
Now it’s a great example of what happens when a relationship goes sour. The Aussie
team obviously didn’t do well, they got knocked out in the quarterfinals – by the
Canadians I might add – and Bernard Tomic… his career hasn’t really recovered since.
Now around that same time, Nick Kyrgios was also having some issues with Lleyton
Hewitt. He had a little dig at Lleyton over Instagram. He accused Lleyton of favoring
certain Aussie players. Lleyton called out Kyrgios on that Kyrgios wasn’t adhering to
the right behaviors to represent Australia and it kind of reminded me of
what happens in the office when things aren’t going well. It’s like when
gossip takes over. I always like to say gossip is like a drug right? You get this
initial high but soon after there’s a major fall down and things can spin out
of control. Now luckily for Kyrgios and Lleyton things didn’t
control because a couple months later after Kyrgios made his dig at Lleyton, it
was reported they got together at Indian Heads, sat down face-to-face,
one-on-one and had a discussion. I suspect some feedback was traded amongst
that discussion, they shared the impacts of what each other’s behaviors were
doing and they were able to make some concessions and come to an agreement about
how they could work. What’s the outcome of that? Well, first of
all this year’s ATP Cup team had a better performance. Kyrgio is now ranked
number 23 in the world, so he’s improved and he’s even got Lleyton Hewitt in his
corner in his entourage during the games and Lleyton has actually come out and
he’s used praise in public. He’s called Kyrgios the ultimate team
player. Now these two stories are a great example of conflict. When I talk about
conflict, there’s “Inner Sanctum” behaviors and there’s Outer Sanctum behaviors. Now in the case of Tomic and Hewitt, it’s a great example of Outer Sanctum behaviors of conflict. You’re focusing and you’re attacking an individual, you’re
not actually working towards a solution and you’re talking about people behind
their back instead of in front of them. Whereas you look at what happened with
Kyrgios. They’re great examples of how to deal with conflict and entering into the
Inner Sanctum of conflict. You’re dealing one-on-one, you’re talking about the
issues and not attacking the individual. And you’re both coming into that
conversation, willing to make concessions for the betterment
of everybody. So if you are dealing at work with some kind of conflict, think
about where you at. Are you in the Outer Sanctum of Conflict or are you
exhibiting behaviours of being on the Inner Sanctum. Have a think about it
and hopefully if it’s going a little bit challenging for you, think about some of
those Inner Sanctum behaviours of conflict. Alright everybody, have a great
day and we’ll talk to you soon. Bye bye.

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