The Good News About Conflict

“Difficulties are meant to rouse, not discourage. The human spirit is to grow strong by conflict.”  -William Ellery Channing

The Beauty of Disagreements
Last week I was talking to a friend who shared that her work team was trying to eliminate conflict at work. And then, just two days later, another friend shared that he and his partner were going through some rocky times, and were trying to eliminate conflict in their relationship. Two friends both under the belief that conflict was a bad thing and should be eliminated.

I much prefer the phrase conflict management. I’m thankful for the occasional conflict to resurrect troubling issues and to clear the air. It can be healthy and valuable to ensure everyone is heard.  It allows for difference of opinions to be shared and for disconnects to be made visible, with goal of achieving a win-win scenario. Something that all parties can live with. Conflict when managed, can be a respectful and positive process for problem-solving. It’s a way of getting people on the same page, through listening, acknowledging the issues with an open mind and then hopefully moving forward with new understandings. For me, that means letting go of always being right. Which, of course, is a tough one for some of us.