When you experience a violent storm, it’s easy to complain about the weather. The rain, wind, thunder, and lighting can seem very terrifying. But to the farmer, storms are beneficial: Rain is necessary for crops and when lightning strikes the ground, the strike provides nitrogen to the soil, an essential element for things to grow.
Likewise, workplace conflict is beneficial in ways we may not initially recognize. However, conflict is necessary for our professional growth. Here’s why:
Conflicts present a new perspective.
The presence of conflict indicates that someone has a different point of view. When we explore such conflicts, we have an opportunity to explore a new idea or at the least, see a new perspective on an existing situation. We may find a new solution that we would not have otherwise seen.
Conflicts enable us to better express our wants
Conflict is a way to express ourselves that may be difficult to do at other times. It’s through conflict that we decide what’s important to us and how to put those feelings into words.
Conflict drives flexibility.
In a conflict, we want others to consider our point of view; but it also forces us to see the point of view of those around us. Conflict teaches us how to become flexible and acknowledge that we’re not always right. The conflict teaches us two necessary behaviors – being open-minded and humility.
Conflict forces us to listen.
To resolve conflict, we must be open and listen to the other person. When we listen, we gain wisdom and learn to make better decisions.
Conflict drives solutions.
When dealing with conflict, we essentially have a problem that requires a solution. Resolving that conflict means finding those solutions, usually in new and innovative ways. Conflict forces us to solve our problems creatively.
It may seem easier to avoid conflicts; However, facing conflicts provides the opportunity to grow as a person and professionally. Without conflict, we become stagnate. Like thunderstorms, conflicts will come and pass. And like the sun arises, in daylight, you’ll be able to see how much you’ve grown from the experience.
We have a free resource that expounds on how to deal with conflict in the workplace. You’re welcome to access it here.