If we have the wrong attitude toward conflict, it will be impossible to face the emerging conflicts within our lives and deal with them effectively.
We realize that the word “conflict” is loaded emotionally. Many of us associate the word with destructive images of people shouting at each other, of countries bombing one another, of gangs shooting one another.
Certainly, these are conflicted situations! But conflict at its core involves things that are not necessarily bad, and may even be productive:
-Differing ideas and opinions
-Evaluations and judgments that take different paths.
People are different. Each person walking the earth has a different slant on things, different ways of seeing what is unfolding, different strategies for dealing with all the situations life throws at us.
Issues regarding conflict are confusing. Is conflict good or bad? How do I manage it?
Let’s put this key point on the table:
Conflict is necessary and beneficial – at least, conflict that is focused properly (in the Blue Zone) is necessary and beneficial.
It’s only when conflict strays away from issues and accesses personal stories (in the Red Zone) that it becomes unmanageable and destructive.
How about you? What is your default toward conflict? Do you see it as negative, hurtful, frightening, counterproductive – and so run away from it?
Or do you see it as necessary and potentially beneficial, a source of growth and self-knowledge?