Why Not Getting Along Can Be A Good Thing…
Ever since I was a young child I have always tried to avoid conflicts. I don’t like to argue or hear people argue, period. However, as we get older, this isn’t always possible. We have to confront people with differing opinions and different ways of handling an issue that is contentious. How do we move past this and find some common ground? This is especially true living in the Washington, DC Metro area and hearing lots of partisan arguments and viewpoints and opinions on varying issues.
Well, I say, let’s try to embrace some conflict as I think it helps us grow personally and professionally. Here’s why….
- Everyone has an opinion – Is this based on fact, past experience or personal belief? Opinions based on fact or past experience might help provide some insights that you don’t have.
- Gain some perspective – We all get entrenched in our own ideas so if we only work with those with whom we agree, we really aren’t going to change our points of view. This becomes tunnel vision and fuels the partisan rancor that impacts decision making on important policies and topics.
- Active listening – We like to talk, but are we really listening? Maybe if we stop and hear what someone else is saying before responding, we could actually have a healthy debate about a substantive issue.
- We need to grow – I know for myself that I have learned more from failure and negative situations than I have from triumphs. If we look at conflict as the fuel for change, this will help us become more thoughtful leaders and professionals.
While I don’t suggest you start a conflict with someone, I am recommending that opening the door to disagreements can lead to more fruitful outcomes.