When is Conflict Good ?



African Saying “You have to take your head to the barber in order to get your hair cut.”
Insight: There are certain tasks you simply cannot delegate. You identify and prioritise the ones that you (and only you) can get done and take responsibility for those if you want the results you are aiming to get.

Conflict is inevitable and weaves its way throughout the fabric of professional and personal life.. Once you get more than one individual in a situation, there is the possibility of being misunderstood or crossing a line we did not even know existed.

Put with that a laudable intention of maintaining good relationships. We ignore or deny the elephant in the room that is prancing from one end of the room to the other or we sweep under concerns or worries under the carpet.  The list of undiscussable items gets longer and long and we pass on those somewhat challenging or difficult conversations that we know we should be having.

Guess what, this all results in us becoming masters at avoiding conflict. The potential of eruptive confrontation gets higher and higher.

There must be a better way, because conflict, while uncomfortable can actually be helpful, if handled properly to strengthen our relationships and can result in stronger and better understandings.  We are able to ‘get’ the other person and see their world from their point of view.  This does not necessary mean we agree with their point of view.  We value the diversity of approaches and perspectives.

What are the threats and opportunities we must confront?  What are the challenges we must overcome?  When confronted with disagreements, how do we handle them?  Do we tend to vacillate between honest niceness and unconstructive anger?    Both extremes are wrong.

My desires for unity can result in a natural tendency are to shrink from confrontation.   However dealing with thorny issues and points of tendency can lead to level of authenticity, honesty and transparency.  These conditions can ultimately lead to lasting peace and deeper relationships.  I am constantly reminded that it takes courage to wage war; it also takes courage to make peace.

Ask yourself (and I often do this with myself),
•    What is the type of unity you seek?
•    Why do you sometimes avoid conflict?
•    How can you use conflict to build a healthier relationship by the way you face it?
•    What is an alternative route to navigate?
Sometimes you may need to get help and call a mediator or facilitator, but often we can see results when we change our way of looking and embracing our mindsets about conflict.   It is interesting that as I change my thoughts (and mindchatter), the world around me changes. Please let me know how you get on!