Conflict and Intention

April 27, 2016

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Ever have one of those weeks when everyone wants a piece of you? Each time you turn around there is another issue brewing....another conflict spewing? During those times I wonder if conflict is contagious, like the flu season that shows up each winter, sure to spread the love. 


contagious colorful word on the wooden background with stethoscope

I recently went through one of those bouts (conflict that is, not the flu). It was annoying and exhausting (just like the flu!) and included many parts of my life - including the place where I work out. Yes, the fitness center where I go to blow off steam was one of the conflicts. ARGH!!

Normally I am pretty good at resolving conflict. I haven't gotten to the point where I like it, but I can manage it. AND I know for a fact that conflict has the potential to actually improve relationships. Which is the opposite of what many of us have been taught or believe - that conflict hurts relationships and should be avoided at all costs (the conflict, not the person, although when we avoid the conflict we often end up also avoiding the person).

But when the conflicts start piling up....then I have to be careful. Because when conflicts multiply I have the tendency to revert back to bad habits. Like wanting to win. Or be right (a "right-fighter" as my sister-in-law dubbed it). 
Or sometimes I can even seek out more conflict, since I am on a roll - let's go get 'em all handled!  Versus actually getting to a resolution that works and builds the relationship. And when I revert back to those bad habits, 
I've lost, even if I won.

Winning the battle (the conflict) and losing the war (weakening a relationship I care about) is not what I want. Which is why at those times of conflict flooding, I remind myself to ask questions like:

What is my intention? 
Do I want to be right? 
Do I want to win?
Do I want to invest energy on this now?

Or do I want to work together and figure out a way forward for both parties, and build the relationship as we do so. 

That's a greater intention than being a right-fighter.  And why I know that no matter the conflict...the greatest intention always wins.

Productive Relationships™ is a course designed for managers, employees....any individuals who want to strengthen relationships and/or have a need to resolve issues effectively and efficiently for their personal and corporate benefit.  Interested?  Contact us.

Kate Johnson
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