WOW Word-Of-the-Week #418: Conflict

August 8, 2012 by  

Conflict – a state of opposition between ideas, interests, etc.; disagreement or controversy.

Does conflict make you feel uncomfortable? Do you believe that you can agree to disagree? How does it make you feel if someone doesn’t share your same opinion?

Brigid Duffield is long time friend, attorney, and fellow speaker. She is the author of “The NO BS Divorce” and last month sent this 4th of July message. I will be sharing “10 Reasons Why Conflict Has Positive Outcomes” in my next two WOW’s.

“We often forget that conflict can be positive and can result in Great things, like the founding of our Nation! As we celebrate our Nation’s Heritage, and the freedom we enjoy…as a direct result of conflict, we want to remind you that…..

1.  Conflict helps people find common ground. Although it is easy to get stuck arguing about who did what, to who and why, identifying and confronting these issues often focuses people on alternative and different ways to resolve a common problem and find a common, acceptable solution.

2.  Conflict teaches people about their negotiation styles and what works and what doesn’t.  Understanding your negotiation style often requires an assessment of your conflict resolution style.  How you react to different points of view, spiritual differences, different emotional responses during times of stress and conflict can help you take on other conflicts whether they be at home, at the work place or in a social setting. Knowing that you may have more challenges if you are hungry, angry, lonely, tired or even sick, ensures that you will avoid conflict until a time that you are better equipped to resolve it.

3. Conflicts are an opportunity to learn about your spouse, partner, friend, family member, neighbor, coworker or stranger. Conflicts arising from differing personalities can help you figure out how to problem solve and maybe even work well together in other arenas.  Sometimes it is just the vessel it is coming from. I frequently say that my husband can tell me something and I think  “Are you nuts?”  My sisters or girlfriends can tell me the exact same thing, I think they are “genius'”…Knowing that the vessel itself creates the conflict makes it easier to listen “for” the message, not “to” the messenger.

4.  Conflict creates an opportunity to be creative and can stretch you to find solutions that are outside of your comfort level.  Constructively addressing conflict encourages you and others to bring new ideas to the table to help solve disputes.  It may require…okay, force you to see something from someone else’s perspective.

5. Healthy conflicts often end with a win-win solution. When someone is able to honestly state their different opinion, and the listener can really hear and respect the differences, the two often find alternatives that work for both of them…and those they come in contact with…though neither may get everything he or she wants.”

This week’s focus is on conflict. Have you ever been able to turn a conflict into a positive solution? Are you able to see things from another person’s perspective? Have you ever had a win-win situation come out of conflict?

“The No BS Divorce” is available on Amazon

Reader Responses

“As we move farther into the presidential campaign, we see conflict all of the time, especially differing ideas in how to move the country forward economically. But in order for the conflict to bring about positive change, there has to be compromise on both sides. However, if one side is intransigent and unwilling to change it makes it difficult to get anything accomplished. A good example is last summer’s showdown on the country’s debt ceiling. The President made offers and compromises with the Speaker of the House, who took the deal back to his GOP caucus in the House, which shot it down, resulting in a drop in the country’s credit rating. Politics is the art of compromise, but if one side won’t budge there won’t be any change. In work situations where I have faced conflict, I weighed the pros and cons and then worked out some kind of compromise. Sometimes pride can get involved, which complicates the relationship. While my wife and I have our share of conflicts, we at least talk out the pros and cons and come to a reasonable conclusion. To my wife’s credit, she has a great deal of common sense and that makes her a positive “messenger.” I just to have to learn to be a little less stubborn, and things usually work out. Great word, Susan. Thanks. Have a great weekend. “Warrior” Joe