Posted by: jmwilsonmga | August 20, 2013

Conflict – Necessary Evil or Opportunity?

When you hear the word conflict, what is your immediate response – negative or positive?  Most people have a negative association with that word.  However, conflict is not always negative.  Understanding why conflict happens is part of the process to turn negative conflict into positive results.

There are many reasons why conflict exists in all relationships.  Two people who are communicating are not going to share the same personalities, values, experiences, cultures, and beliefs.  When you think about it that way, it’s a wonder that every conversation that we have does not result in conflict!

Despite everyone’s individuality, we all have a common need to feel understood and supported. When these needs are not met, conflict can be a result.  It’s really easy to judge someone else by your own needs, but it’s a lot harder to understand where that other person is coming from.  It really goes back to the old expression of putting yourself in someone else’s shoes to compassionately understand their needs.

What’s worse is that we often respond to conflicts based on our own perceptions of the situation, and these perceptions are not always objective.  Emotions can get involved quickly.

All of this sounds pretty negative, right?  It doesn’t have to be, but the key to turning negative conflict around is communication. In every conflict situation, we have a choice.  We can be constructive and focused on the task, typically a common goal, which is dealing with  cognitive awareness.  We can also be destructive, often shown in a fight or give in (win/lose) situation where the focus becomes personal or emotional.

Here are a few ways to communicate better to make conflict work in a positive way.

LISTEN – It’s hard to listen with your mouth open. You can’t put yourself in another’s shoes without listening to their needs.

WINNING – Winning a conflict is actually a losing proposition.  If one person “wins”, the other automatically “loses.”  It’s not about being right.

GROWTH – Conflict can be a great opportunity for growth.  By understanding others, you can grow as a person and expand your world view and even your view of a seemingly small task.

IDEAS – Conflict can also be a way to come up with new ideas that would not happen without each individual’s contribution.  It can encourage new thinking, building relationships, raise questions, open minds, and beat stagnation.

If everyone was exactly like you, not only would it be a pretty boring life, but one person is not able to grow without the experiences with others.

Conflict is normal.  Learning how to deal with conflict in a positive way is essential for success and growth in all of our relationships.  Avoiding conflict can cause greater conflict that will become harder and harder to resolve.

“The problem is not that there are problems.  The problem is expecting otherwise and thinking that having problems is a problem.” – Theodore Rubin

Jeanne-Callan---July-2013About the Author : Jeanne Callan, Illinois Branch Manager

Jeanne has been a member of the J.M. Wilson Team since 2008 and currently serves as the Illinois Branch Manager.  She works closely with her team of underwriters to give our retail agents the resources that they need to write business.  From underwriting to training to motivating to marketing to answering the phones, Jeanne does whatever it takes for her team to succeed!  Jeanne loves that there is never a dull moment in her position. She loves the variety.  She also admits to being a bit of a sap – she loves insurance!  In her free time, Jeanne enjoys experiencing live music.  She has seen over 160 artists in the past ten years – some of them more than once!

Connect with Jeanne on LinkedIn

Disclaimer :  This article is for informational purposes only.  There is no legal advice being suggested or proffered.  The author assumes no responsibility or liability for the actions taken or not taken by the readers based upon such information.  This article is the opinion of the author and is not supported or endorsed by J.M. Wilson.  It should not be relied upon and may contain inaccuracies or content may have changed over time, contact your underwriter for the most current and accurate information.  Any comments or responses are the opinions of their authors.  Content on this site is believed to be covered under Fair Use.

Copyright 2013 J.M. Wilson Corporation

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