The idea of conflict can cause anxiety to some, whereas other people seem to utilize conflict as an issue-processing strategy. Although conflict is often viewed negatively, it is not always realized with arguing or loud voices. There are various types of conflict, obviously not accounting for those among us who enjoy the art of banter. Surprisingly according to current research, conflict often results in positive outcomes.
Constructive and high-quality conflict resolution is important to our daily lives. Individuals are individuals, all with our unique and complex ideas, methods, and approaches. An ability to understand and appreciate perspectives, experiences, and ideas is often a result of conflict.
According to Tara Brach, PhD, the act of avoiding conflict is described as a false refuge. An effort to minimize conflict by accommodating another is not a character reflection of being a nice person. Rather, this deference is found to derive from fear. We sometimes believe that avoidance will ultimately make us happier and more comfortable, but evading conflict hinders self-growth. Brach explains that in tension-filled environments, ideas, thoughts, and feelings are held back to avoid judgments from others which hinders development of people and ideas.
According to Mind Tools, by resolving conflict successfully, you can solve many of the problems that [the conflict] brought to the surface, as well as getting benefits that you might not at first expect:
- Increased understanding: The discussion needed to resolve conflict expands people’s awareness of the situation, giving them an insight into how they can achieve their own goals without undermining those of other people.
- Increased group cohesion: When conflict is resolved effectively, team members can develop stronger mutual respect and a renewed faith in their ability to work together.
- Improved self-knowledge: Conflict pushes individuals to examine their goals in close detail, helping them understand the things that are most important to them, sharpening their focus, and enhancing their effectiveness.
Conflict is a part of life and our world would be very different without it. Knowing how to address conflict in a beneficial manner can improve your world and positively influence the worlds’ of others!