Monday, May 18, 2015

Avoiding conflict by creating conflict

It is ironic but there are many ways to seek to avoid conflict that actually create it. Think about this:

One: When we try to please others by not telling them what we really think in an attempt to keep peace we often unintentionally create later conflict since our words do not match our true thoughts. Our true convictions come out at some point and the lack of honesty on the front end creates conflict on the back end.

Two: When we tell one person one thing and another a different thing in order to keep the peace we eventually create conflict because the two versions don't match up. One of the signs of good EQ is the ability to be defining with what we believe no matter what the response might be. And to stay in relationship with those who might disagree with us at the same time. 

Three: When we simply avoid the issues and pretend that they are not there the end result is far deeper conflict than we could have wished for. Sweeping issues under the rug only leave them for another day when the number of undressed issues is now larger and the potential conflict equally larger.

Four: When we engage in passive aggressive behavior, hiding our true thoughts and allowing them to emerge in other ways creates even greater conflict because it is disingenuous. This strategy is all too common and it creates relational chaos since one thing is said but another thing is lived out. 

There are many ways to create conflict by avoiding it. There is no upside by not putting issues on the table. We may think there is but our strategies to avoid conflict actually make even deeper conflict inevitable. Boards and staff teams are guilty of this all the time and it does not yield healthy results.

Posted from Oakdale, MN

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