Finding the Good in Conflict
You don’t have to look very far these days to witness conflict. Topics in the news and in our local communities are evidence of many divisive concerns. Opinions range from one extreme to the other. The layers of tension have been building steadily, especially since COVID drastically changed so many of our normal routines. It’s easy to get caught up in the friction, not really knowing which way to turn or what to say.
It can make you think that all conflict is bad.
But really, what we all need are methods and skills for how to handle these difficult conversations rather than avoid them. The goal shouldn’t be the change the mind of the person “opposing” your viewpoint. Ideally, both parties can find a way to be curious about the other’s perspective. Then, at least we can walk away with more knowledge and a lot less anger.
Each Person Is Responsible
Whether in the workplace, our personal lives, or civic groups, building these skills is beneficial. We need more voices that seek to understand rather than blame. That responsibility can happen at every level in an organization, within each person.
It is tempting to think that our workplace environments are best without conflict. The word conjures up so many negative images. But the reality is that conflict is needed – even desirable – for the highest performing teams.
It certainly would be wonderful if we weren’t bombarded with occasions every day, whether it’s opening a newspaper or watching the evening news with yet one more story of battling dynamics. But these are opportunities for us to deeper understand each other, recognizing that often, most of us want the same end goal. It’s a matter of learning from each other how to navigate with respect – for each other and ourselves.
Begin with Self-Awareness
Beginning with our own self-awareness is the key to managing productive conflict. Do we try to force our view on someone without realizing it? Or do we cave in too quickly and easily when we should be speaking our truth? Do we judge without reason? Or listen with intent?
When we raise this awareness of our self and others, it becomes easier to curb destructive behaviors and effectively respond in conflict situations. Our programs help people practice these techniques, genuinely embracing conflict, finding healthier, easier interactions, and seeing better outcomes.
Come learn with us and together, we can change conflict from a negative to an opportunity of shared understanding and respect. Find out about our upcoming workshops here. Or contact us if you’re interested in a program tailored specifically to the needs of your and/or your organization.
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