July 1st, 2011 18:25 EST
10 Reasons Why Conflict Can Be Good
10 Reasons Why Conflict Has Positive Outcomes
We often forget that conflict can be positive and can result in Great things, like the founding of our Nation! As we celebrate our Nation`s Heritage, and the freedom we enjoy...as a direct result of conflict, we want to remind you that:
1. Conflict helps people find common ground. Although it is easy to get stuck arguing about who did what, to who and why, identifying and confronting these issues often focuses people on alternative and different ways to resolve a common problem and find a common, acceptable solution.
2. Conflict teaches people about their negotiation styles and what works and what doesn`t. Understanding your negotiation style often requires an assessment of your conflict resolution style. How you react to different points of view, spiritual differences, different emotional responses during times of stress and conflict can help you take on other conflicts whether they be at home, at the work place or in a social setting. Knowing that you may have more challenges if you are hungry, angry, lonely, tired or even sick, ensures that you will avoid conflict until a time that you are better equipped to resolve it.
3. Conflicts are an opportunity to learn about your spouse, partner, friend, family member, neighbor, coworker or stranger. Conflicts arising from differing personalities can help you figure out how to problem solve and maybe even work well together in other arenas. Sometimes it is just the vessel it is coming from. I frequently say that my husband can tell me something and I think "Are you nuts?" My sisters or girlfriends can tell me the exact same thing, I think they are "genius`"...Knowing that the vessel itself creates the conflict makes it easier to listen "for" the message, not "to" the messenger.
4. Conflict creates an opportunity to be creative and can stretch you to find solutions that are outside of your comfort level. Constructively aaddressing conflict encourages you and others to bring new ideas to the table to help solve disputes. It may require...okay, force you to see something from someone else`s perspective.
5. Healthy conflicts often end with a win-win solution. When someone is able to honestly state their different opinion, and the listener can really hear and respect the differences, the two often find alternatives that work for both of them...and those they come in contact with...though neither may get everything he/she wants.
6. Conflict is an opportunity to open up communication on a difficult subject. Conflict and confrontation are natural and healthy components of any relationship. There is no right, wrong, good or bad in identifying or causing constructive conflict. Often the issue people think they are in conflict about is not the issue they really disagree.
7. Timing the Tactful confrontation about conflict strengthens relationships. Confronting conflict increases the openness and honesty and often the closeness in a relationship. Peace achieved through conflict avoidance is short lived and often dishonest. Setting a good stage for confronting conflict is key. In the No BS Divorce Book, I suggest that spouses in conflict figure out their "time tolerance" for each other, that is the amount of time they can actually speak with each other without the conversation breaking down. It might be 5 minutes, it might be 1 hour.
8. Managing conflict by dealing with it is more efficient than letting conflicts fester. Getting right to the disputed issue at hand resolves issues quicker and emotional time dwelling on things is shortened.
9. Managing conflicts appropriately helps build independence. Learning how to appropriately deal with conflict relieves you from the bondage of the person and issue. A key management tool is understanding where "neutral" ground is physically. People often pick the exactly wrong place to negotiate and in the wrong place, very little conflict resolution is likely.
10. Conflicts encourage people to grow. Conflicts are challenging and can lead to a new outlook on personal practices and processes. It is hard not to grow personally, spiritually, emotionally or mentally when dealing with conflict resolution.
A very special thank you to all of those who are serving or have served our country by participating in healthy and necessary conflict...we salute you. We wish all of you a wonderful Fourth of July and a speedy resolution of all your conflicts.
By Brigid A. Duffield
The Law Office of Brigid A. Duffield, P.C. &
Legally Speaking, Inc.
*Brigid Duffield is an approved MCLE provider and her 40 hr Basic Mediation Training Program is approved by the Association for Conflict Resolution*