In today’s environment, we often meet people who have different views than ours. In some of these situations, we just walk by, letting the other person going its path. But in other situations, things get worse and worse, until a conflict in a different form arises. When this happens, we tend to react in a variety of ways, just to avoid or minimize the conflict and its impact on us and others around us. But to deal better with a conflict we need to first understand it and then build our strategy to fight it successfully.
Peter Drucker wrote in one of his books that “Conflict is the power moving people ahead”
Steve Jobs has named the conflict “The power to do better things”
Jeff Bezos names the conflict “The opportunity to change the environment while inviting others to join” …
But no matter how we call it or describe it, in his ground, the conflict can be easily defined as the sign that people care about, situation, event, other feelings, etc. Seen from this perspective, the conflict we can experience is something good, that allows us and others to grow as humans and professionals.
With these words in mind, before we even think of the conflict as an opportunity, we need to understand its nature and basic characteristics.
To build our strategy we first need to focus on understanding these characteristics. Here the 4 definitive attitudes toward the conflict arising in our everyday life we need to understand and accept as a positive way to deal with it.
Conflict can be healthy
Many people see only the negative side of the conflict. But let us look at it from a positive perspective. We are facing a positive conflict in today’s world from the three major cell phone producers Huawei, Samsung, and Apple. They fight for the 1st place in the heart of the consumer and that causes them to create better opportunities and high-quality innovative products every year. The conflict comes with the race for the prize, but still creates value for people around the world. This short example shows how the conflict can be positive. Led positively, conflict can work for creating a healthier and more productive environment, where people do not struggle with anything.
Conflict is usually not personal
One mistake people often make, when being under the heat of a hot emotion to take anything personally. It often happens on job interviews, in the bank when trying to take a loan, by the mobile operator when you want to get better contract conditions, etc. Led by emotions people often overreact to behavior from an employee at that place. The recruiter is not against you- he or she is judging people based on criteria shared from the hiring manager, the bank employee is not against you, he or she is just following internal procedures based on politics created to save the bank from bankruptcy, the employee at your mobile operator does not hide anything from you but has the policy to follow and evaluate every potential customer by its current consumption. There is nothing personal in the conflict. But often it creates a personal attitude toward others, while we accept their behavior as something that can affect our comfort before we can analyze all the facts. A simple piece of advice and a simple thing to do” Do not take the conflict personal”.
Conflict can often require a level of headed moderator
What we try to do, when getting ourselves into a conflict situation is to try solving it by ourselves.
And we often lose. While trying to resolve a conflict situation where you are one of the participants you will most likely need an external helper. This person can be “the voice reasoning”. He or she is someone who is not involved, can make a clear judgment of the situation, without taking into consideration emotions at the place, and lead you to a decision that looks impossible from your or the other party involved perspective, but still makes the most sense, according to the situation. That is why, if being involved in a conflict, the person needs to stop and turn to someone who can help come out from the delicate situation created.
Conflict is better addressed through listening
When in a conflict situation, many people start talking with the hope that being the one who talks most will win them a victory. But what these people do not realize is that as much you talk during a conflict situation the more pressure you create. If the conflict is to be resolved then the people involved must focus on listening, instead of talking. Listening more in a conflict situation, allows the people affected from the conflict to understand if not all than many of the points of the other side and see its behavior not as a threat, but as a type of defense. If that turn is made, then the conflict is half resolved. That is why in the conflict solving process, the mediator plays a key role, by “Leading involved parties into a listening cycle and keeping them away from saying and acting”.
Conflict is an inevitable element of our everyday life. We need to first understand it to better deal with it. If acting led by emotions we always lose, even if we think we have won the battle now. But if we approach it logically with no or less anger and negativity, conflict can be easily resolved and even used as a basis for positive results.