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Four Practices To Make Conflict Your Friend


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Over and over again we say “Resistance is your ally, not your enemy – conflict can be a path to growth”.

It’s hard to hear at first but over time people will give us the benefit of the doubt as we explain the nature and source of conflict and how we can choose to live in either the healthy Blue Zone or the dismal Red Zone.

But we’re often asked “Exactly HOW can I live and lead in such a way that I see resistance as my ally?”.

Here are four practical principles that will help you see resistance as your friend, not your enemy.

1. Maintain clear focus. Keep an eye on the moment and the resistance and conflict you are facing, to be sure. But always keep your other eye focused on the big picture – the mission you are trying to achieve , the purposes you are committed to, the real issues at hand, the value of the people involved.

2. Embrace resistance. Move toward, not away from, the sources of resistance. This is hard, because our tendency is to defeat, run around, or deny resistance. It is a learned behavior, so be patient with yourself! Resistance is your ally because it shows you that your current strategies are not fully working and it give you more options to move ahead.

3. Respect those who resist, by monitoring your emotions, avoiding the Red Zone, and always telling the truth.

4. Join with the resistance. Look for common themes,, values, and patterns, looking together for ways the situation needs to change.

Make a habit of studying and, more importantly, practicing these principles and you will find yourself less frustrated and dismayed by and more challenged and energized by healthy conflict!