How Conflict Helps You Live Without Regret

How Conflict Helps You Live Without Regret

My informal research shows that most people believe conflict is a bad thing and to be avoided it at all costs. They avoid difficult discussions involving argument and disagreement, both of which can be healthy conflict.

Conflict is rarely resolved, nor is it practical to do so. To resolve conflict would mean we would all be in complete agreement about everything. Conflict is to be managed by maintaining focus on the issue or a problem to solve.

Conflict helps you live without regret when it:

Challenges your thinking about an issue. Your beliefs or perceptions about an issue are challenged when someone presents a different belief about it. This presses you to be more flexible in your thinking, examine your beliefs, and discover a more helpful way of thinking about the issue.

Helps you understand others better. Personality style differences are sometimes the source of conflict. Someone has said 10% of conflict is about difference of opinion and the other 90% of conflict is related to how the opinion was expressed. How the thought is expressed may be a personality style or just bad behavior. Take time to strengthen relationships by discussing differences, exploring intentions, and expressing needs.

Helps you understand yourself better. We all have blind spots and need the input of other’s perspectives for greater self-awareness. Such differences of opinion or perception (conflict), when shared appropriately, can help us grow.

Helps you be more, see more, and achieve more. Occasionally I tell a student or client, “I am not sure you are giving your best effort.” This is conflict. Their performance is at one level and I believe it can be more. Students and clients thank me for this. Meet your potential. Be, See, and Achieve more.

Creates stronger relationships. Clearly owning and stating your thoughts and feelings (I feel… I think…) while addressing an issue can clear the air and strengthen a relationship.

Surfaces a smoldering, previously unaddressed issue. Continuing to avoid the issue may result in escalation to unmanageable conflict.

See much more on conflict and living Without Regret in my book Without Regret and in this blog in the coming weeks. Also join us for a Without Regret group coaching experience to get the support you need for applying Without Regret principles.

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