“When we dare to break the silence, or dare to see, and we create conflict, we enable ourselves and the people around us to do our very best thinking.” Margaret Heffernan, Dare to Disagree, TED Talk
I’m a little leery when I see relationships or systems, whether workplace, personal or familial, where there aren’t moments of conflict.
I’ve done many surveys in my consulting practice that on paper demonstrate contented, conflict-free work environments. The one-on-one interviews quickly counter the myth of collective cheer and instead detail the fears of open expression.
After all, a driving human force is the need for self-expression. As we go about our lives, pursuing our desires, dreams, shaping our futures, expressing ourselves – we will inevitably encounter people who see things differently or believe that we have incompatible needs.
In other words, conflict is inherent in the social dynamics of living. The challenge of conflict lies in how we choose to respond to it. Any successful response to using the energy of conflict to advance understanding and growth depends on the awareness and skills we bring to it. Continue reading