Even nice people sometimes piss me off. I also know that I occasionally do things that make other people want to punch me in the head. Conflict is a two way street where, fortunately, knowing is half the battle.
The older I get, the more I don't care enough to want to change. After all, the statistic is that 3 out of 100 people(maybe even more for me!) will hate me no matter what I do. Most people make snap decisions about a person with 3 seconds of meeting them and the harsh judgements are hard to alter.
When I was a motivational speaker for a franchise event, a participant told me after the inspirational speech that unresolved conflict with his wife often put him in a bad mood and he would take it out on his employees. On top of marriage counseling, I think this man needs to gain control over his tirades or he will drive his franchise to the ground. My hope is that his realization of the issues in his life will spur him to address those issues and make helpful changes, like counseling.
Conflict may be a natural part of some work environments, so those employed in those places need to understand how they naturally react to it.
For instance, I tend to flee from conflict at all costs. When I see conflict coming down the road, I dart the other way. I avoid difficult conversations and pretend that everything is okay. Now that I am a motivational speaker about conflict, I feel compelled to practice what I preach, and stare conflict in the eye and communicate through the issues.
If I weren't aware of how I react to conflict, I would have no power to change, but our reactions are learned behaviors and they can be changed.
As a motivational speaker about conflict, I find that people react to conflict in the following ways:
- Defensively. Here someone deflects the conflict and refuses to take ownership. (Yes, but...)
- Fight back. A few years back, in an inspirational speech a gentleman started an arguement with a guest speaker when he suggested he wasn't completing his reports. He fought back and publically insulted the guest speaker.
- Smooth over/avoid. See my confession above.
- Power play. Use power/authority to trump others.
- Cry. Some people become completely overwhelmed when taken to task, so their emotions get the best of them. Crying can be manipulative, too, as people will often back off because the recognize their harm.
- Concilatory. Agree with the others and pray they leave you alone.
As a motivational speaker for the franchise event, I was hired to do an inspirational speech about conflict. It turns out conflict rears it's ugly head a lot in a franchise environments.