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How Conflict Strengthens Your Character

Human beings are created as social beings, and as we interact with people on a day to day basis, we will find ourselves in situations in which there is disharmony. Because people have different personalities, even people with complimentary personality types have nuances in their behavior and attitudes that will rub us the wrong way. However the fact that we may get entangled in conflict does not mean we have to be strangled in the midst of it.

That said, is the trick to live your life making a conscious effort to avoid conflict? No! Conflict is good for us. The tension we face presents opportunities to develop ourselves and form the character that we need to succeed. If you constantly are trying to avoid conflict with people, there are certain aspects of your character you will not exercise, also you are probably being untrue to yourself. You are making a sacrifice that is centered on you. You are concerned about your feelings, and how others will think about you.

First thing to do when you are confronted with conflict is to understand what the real situation is at hand. Too often people get very emotional in the midst of conflict that they lose sight of the real issue. If everyone else is getting emotional, you want to take a step back and objectively look at the facts at hand. Be clear on what the issue is, be clear on what the parties involved want, and be clear on what it is that you want out of the situation.

Once you have objectively analyzed the situation, listen to the request of the other party. This can be very difficult especially if it appears things are getting aggravated and the other party is being abrasive. Nonetheless, it is to your advantage to be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to anger. Once they are done stating their position on the issue, state your view point objectively. It cannot be guaranteed that they will hear what you say, but the onus is on you not to get emotionally absorbed into the situation.

In all of this you must learn to have the right attitude all through. The way we act and behave in the midst of conflict is part of our communication. We must always make sure we are being kind and mannerly in our disposition towards people. It is no good to be condescending, rude, and unbecomingly in dealing with people in conflict.

The strength of character is in learning to keep your cool and keep the right attitude in the midst of the tensed up situation. After multiple practice it gets easier for you. This is a valuable skill to have in any organizational setting because the lack of it affects your ability to act as a part of a team or be effective as a leader. Leadership requires the ability to deal with personal conflict.

It is a painful process to have to deal with conflict, but it eventually sharpens your social and interpersonal skills in the long run. You become stronger on the inside, and the fact is that for you to truly fulfill your God given purpose, you will have to make hard choices and deal with difficult people along the way. Avoiding them is not how you reach your Promised Land!

Thoughts?

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