Would we need leaders if everyone always agreed?
Conflicts are natural. They are part of everyday life and a way of clashing opinions in order to find new solutions. There is of course constructive and destructive conflict but the former is nothing to be afraid of.
It doesn’t come easy to me; in fact, conflicts scare me so I’ve collected some tips on how to keep them healthy. I use these as a reminder when things are shaky.
1. Check: does the issue really matter? Is it worth fighting for?
2. Think of what you’d like to happen. What outcome would you need in this situation?
3. Give the other person the benefit of a doubt. It doesn’t happen often that they are actually malevolent.
4. Keep an open mind. Listen to the other opinion with curiosity, wanting to understand their viewpoint.
5. Don’t take it personally. A disagreement is not an attack against you, only your opinion.
6. Stick to facts and logic, and respond selectively to these only. It’s almost impossible to change another person’s feelings when tackled head on.
I’ve read it recently that the goal in a conversation like that shouldn’t be compromise – it can make both parties feel like they’ve lost something. Instead, it should be to find a new solution together. I find that a beautiful thought because I value improvements. And when we find new solutions, progress happens. That’s what a difference in opinion can bring to us all.
What are your tips to keep conflicts healthy?