Most people I know would not think about the benefits of conflict or even want to give thanks for it. Here are some points that may change your mind;
- The goal is not to end or eliminate conflict, but transform the way it is expressed. From destructive forms (aggression/bad behaviour) into constructive forms (dialogue/negotiation).
- Research shows that groups experiencing conflict are more efficient, more innovative, more productive, and more committed to the task at hand.
- Conflict in relationships is a natural and healthy process required for both parties to change and grow.
- Conflict increases innovation of individuals and the system – because of greater diversity of viewpoints and a heightened sense of necessity.
- Conflict increases motivation and energy to apply to required tasks.
- Conflict can help develop an increased understanding of an individuals’ own position – because the conflict forces them to articulate their views and to bring forth supporting agreements.
- Conflict brings about opportunities for creative change.
- Each party may achieve greater awareness of their own identity when in conflict.
- Moving through a conflict can be an opportunity for personal growth.
- We learn methods to manage our own internal conflicts.
- Surviving difficult interpersonal issues builds strength and can increase confidence.
- Managing conflict is one way to practice the way you communicate with others and thereby increase your communication skills.
Conflict is often avoided and can be a hard thing to face. I believe there is substantial value in addressing it. Oddly enough, a lot of positive things can come from conflict – so give thanks this week for the conflict in your life!
The Workplace Fairness Institute works to support organizations to be proactive with conflict.