Why conflict doesn't always have to be negative

Focus on understanding… not agreeing

3 Min Read
Personal Growth


It is important to remember that you don't need to agree with what the person is saying but rather try to understand where they are coming from. This is a skill that requires a lot of self-awareness and learning to understand others points of view or opinions. What this will allow you to do is free yourself from a negative experience.  Open up your mind, and actually listen to what their needs are and not just hearing the words coming out of their mouth. A wise person once said: “You have two ears and one mouth, that is because you are supposed to listen twice as much as you speak.” insert wink

Take conflict as a learning experience 

Although you don't agree with this person, look at their experiences and their perspective. “People's perspective is their reality.” There is always something you can learn from every interaction even if it seems confrontational. Conflict is associated with being tense and oftentimes uncomfortable. If we allow ourselves to have an open dialog, we can agree to disagree, but will end up gaining more respect for the other person's position. 

Your reaction tells more about you then it does about the conflict… 

The way you react to conflict shows more about where you are with self-growth and self-awareness, than it does about the actual situation. There is going to be conflict many times throughout your career. The most important thing is how you navigate; it will be the biggest factor in how it affects you. Recognize that the corporate world is small and your behavior towards these situations is what people remember most. I once was told a funny quote pertaining directly to this: “The butt you kick today, might be the ass you have to kiss tomorrow.” Learning that you don’t always have to be “right” is a huge step in personal growth. Always take the “high road”, even if you don't agree with the situation, show class in how you navigate it, through proper communication. 

Understand your role…

Many of us like to take initiative, which can be a great thing to show leadership skills, but at the end of the day it is important to remember, you have a superior(s). There is a chapter in a great book (48 Laws of Power by ___) called “Never Outshine The Master” which means as much as it is your duty to do your daily job, it is important to make your “boss” look good whenever possible. If there is a conflict you are taking on that is consuming you or feeling too large, reach out to your superior or senior teammate for advice. This is not seen as a sign of weakness, but rather of strength that you recognize when teamwork and mentorship is needed.