Don't fear conflict

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Whether it be with your spouse, kids, boss or co-worker, conflict is something that most of us dread. And for good reason; we usually don’t handle it well. Our go-to resolutions like the silent treatment, passive-aggressiveness or anger aren’t much in the way of actual resolutions.

Why do we fear conflict so much? Conflict is a necessity of progress and innovation. We can’t have change without some amount of conflict.

Most of our fear around conflict stems from two reasons: we’re afraid of being wrong, and we’re afraid of the other person being mad at us because we’ve proved them wrong.

We see conflict as forcing someone to be wrong. And let’s face it, no one likes to be wrong. It hits the ego hard.

What if we looked at conflict not as proving anyone wrong, but simply as a mechanism for growth? As a tool to better understand ourselves and others.

If we end up in conflict with someone it just signals to us that we need to slow down and take the time to communicate more with one another.

To do this, we must be willing to:

  • Be open
  • Ask open-ended questions and listen to the answers
  • Examine our own beliefs, values and knowledge
  • Change ourselves if necessary
  •  Help others if they ask for it
  • Give ideas and solutions that benefit not just ourselves
  • Put forth effort and energy for positive outcomes

Conflict isn’t going anywhere, nor should it. The opposite of healthy conflict is stagnation. So, we better get better at handling it.

A Team Human Conversation

Fight workplace zombies in your organization and join Team Human! Gather a group of fellow workplace zombie hunters to discuss our most recent blog post. Use the questions below to kick start your conversation.

  1. What’s your go-to way to handle conflict? How well does it serve you?
  2. What can you do to change how you view and handle conflict?
  3. What can you do as a team to encourage more healthy conflict?