Do You Believe in Healthy Conflict?

Do You Believe in Healthy Conflict? Well as hard as it is to believe, conflict can be healthy.  I recently was in a meeting where the tension was very high, and there was certainly different viewpoints that were being expressed. I TOTALLY disagreed with a decision direction and felt I didn’t practice the self-regulation rule of Emotional Intelligence. Since I am passionate about the future, which is one of my 5 strengths , I let it be known that I felt this will definitely have an impact on the future and not in a positive way. None the less, we pushed through the meeting and to the next topic.

One of the important concepts that I have learned over the years is that having conflict is normal. Very normal in all aspects of life. Understanding and practicing the concepts of Emotional Intelligence (EI) can help a lot when you have to manage the tension that often appears at work, at home, and at play.  I wrote a blog a few months ago involving a situation with my daughter about 1 of the 5 concepts of EI: self-regulation.  The 5 concepts of EI are:

  1. Self-awareness
  2. Self-regulation
  3. Social Skills
  4. Relationship Management
  5. Empathy

In the high-tension meeting, I struggled with the self-regulation because I was mad; I felt I wasn’t being understood, and they were just not getting it. I didn’t regulate much and after looking back, that was OK. I didn’t do any personal attacks, just stated my opinion and spoke the truth. Managing tension is and will always be part of life. It’s ok to have disagreements, opinions, and just be passionate/mad once in a while.

Healthy Conflict can help an organization to grow in many good ways. One of my top verses is “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another” (Proverbs 27:17). We need to “butt heads” sometimes to grind each other to make us better or at a minimum more aware. A few helpful tips when you find yourself in a tense situation are:

  1. Remember the Goals – ask yourself “What are you trying to achieve?”
  2. State Facts – being honest and upfront helps foster #4
  3. Don’t Get Personal – personal attacks only increase conflict and don’t move the conversation toward the goals
  4. Have Open and Engaged Discussions – need to be safe to talk
  5. Share Your Emotion on the Topic – so others can help you work through your blind spots

Remember when a decision is made, even if it is not yours, support it when you walk out of the room. You have to let go and support it. One thing I love about Dave Ramsey is he has a zero gossip policy. He defines gossip as talking with someone that cannot do anything to help with the issue. Gossip is a culture killer so watch out for it.

Action Items

  • Kill Gossip.
  • Engage in Healthy Conflict.
  • Support Decisions When They are Made.
  • Read My Blog on Emotional Intelligence.
  • Know Your Strengths – take the test so you are aware.