Now that the holidays and New Year are behind us, I have to imagine most of us have begun focusing on making good with our New Year's resolutions. One of my close friends mentioned his focus this year was going to be around better ways of resolving conflict in his life. This probably had to do with the fact that he spent a week home with his family trying to get along with everyone. Inevitably he found that within a few days he was back in the same old groove; arguing with his parents and siblings over the same things they always seemed to disagree on.
After about day 5 at home, with his stress level through the roof, it dawned on him that coming back home was supposed to be relaxing, yet it had been anything but. It was at that point that he had his a-ha moment. What better time to get his New Year's resolution kicked off than right now while he was at home with his family. Inevitably, he always regretted leaving home and realizing that all he did was bicker with the family the entire time. As a result, his way of resolving the conflict was to start by looking at himself first. This didn't necessarily always mean that he was the problem, but he realized that he needed to be more objective to prevent the conversation from escalating with his family members.
One of my fellow directors shared an interesting blog from Daniel Goleman, Co-Director of Consortium for Research on Emotional Intelligence in Organizations.
Daniel points out that we need to understand that battling back and forth to prove that you're right and the other side is wrong is not likely to get you from a breakdown to a breakthrough.
I found this as something I can easily relate to with the conversations I have with my team and colleagues regarding best practices within B2B teleprospecting. Often we want to encourage our team to be creative and take ownership of the projects they're working on. While it may be human nature to WANT to always be right, it can be extremely detrimental to your business, professional and personal relationships. The ability to recognize that everyone has value they can add, whether it differs from our own view or not, is what separates us from being truly enlightened as opposed to always having the same feeling my friend had with his visit back home.
So how do you resolve conflict? According to Goleman, it starts within you.