Few people thrive on conflict. Where do you stand? When your opinions and actions bump up against others do you speak your mind or slink into the shadows, hoping not to be noticed?
Think of the last time a conversation broke down and evolved into a painful argument. Did you confront it and express your feelings or retreat into bitter silence? When conflict is pushed under the carpet it often manifests later in passive aggressive behavior. Assertively confronting others will grow better leaders, reveal innovation and boost morale.
Diverse opinions do not have to evolve into conflict if we have the tools to effectively digest ideas and communicate. In most cases it's not conflict, it's just misunderstanding.
Think of your last conflict and Recall the moment you felt resentful...
Now imagine the other person has equally strong feelings. Leaving right or wrong out of it; do you really understand why the other party is so adamant? What is the root of their angst? Until you can confidently and accurately answer this question, you have not truly communicated.
Conflict doesn't have to be painful. When you think you are right and have given up exploring the other persons opinion, ask what else is here to be discovered? What is really going on here? What is this person communicating?
Do you understand them?
As a corporate motivational speaker on conflict, I often relate stories where I have given up on relationships and people because they were too difficult. Dissolving a relationship is always the last resort so I have had to evolve my conflict management skills to help some relationships survive.
One of the reasons I am a speaker on conflict is because like many people, I deal with conflict by ignoring it and pretending it doesn't bother me. Over time I have realized this technique positions me to be a volunteer to be treated badly. Ignoring bad behavior does not make it go away, it allows it to fester, grow and get worse.
See our blog post Motivational Speaker Wrestles with A Touch Corporate Crowd.
Speaking of conflict, read about Why a Motivational Speaker Bombs.