Resolving Conflict as an Inspiring Leader

If you were asked this question: “Would you rather be right, or happy?”  What would your answer be?  Most likely you would answer rather enthusiastically, “of course, I’d leadership with conflict rather be happy!”  Most people would.  In the conscious mind, it’s a no brainer.  We tell ourselves that we want to be happy.  Then how come we find ourselves so frustrated with people at work?  To the point where we think about firing people, thinking that is the only way to resolve the issues that are between you. Or, what’s even more common than just firing people is tolerating people.  Spending your days walking on egg shells, avoiding conflict, and hoping that person behaves themselves so that you won’t have to deal with any upset.

If you work in a family business then you know how frustrating that can be.  You take all the usual working together issues, and mix those in with a lifetime of family issues, and you have a recipe for disaster. Or at least a lot of time spent wondering how to resolve your differences.

So let’s take a deeper look at that question: “Would you rather be right or happy?” Spending the past 20 or so years studying human behavior (in others as well as myself) it has become very apparent that most people would rather be right.  When it comes down to it, looking at our behavior, not our words…our behavior says that we would rather be right.  Not all of the time, but a large percentage of the time.

Think about it!  Take a most recent conflict between you and someone you work with.  Think of an example of where you saw it one way, and they saw it a different way.  Who was right? If you answered “I was”, then you are on the right track.  We like to be right.  We think that somehow it is threatening if we are wrong.  It threatens our job, income, relationships, even our survival to be wrong.  So we will avoid it at all cost, even at the expense of our partner, co-worker, even spouse.  It’s ok if they are wrong, as long as I am right!  Can you relate to that?

So how do we resolve this kind of conflict? It’s simple, the next time you have an issue where you see things differently…be willing to see it how they see it…FIRST. Give up the need to be right.  And stand in their shoes.  The truth of the matter is that you’re both right, based upon how you’re seeing an issue.  Being willing to see their side of the issue by asking them questions such as; “what about this?”, and “how is it you see that?”  Say things to them like:  “I can see how you’d see it that way” is extremely validating to people.  They will feel important and valued in your presence vs. just being made wrong.  This is a very valuable quality in being a motivating and inspiring leader.

When you are willing to see it how they see it first, how willing then do you think they will be to seeing it the way YOU see it?  So that is the next equally important step, to invite them to see it the way you see it. And then together, once you have all of the knowledge of how both of you see it, then you can work together to find a solution.

This is simple, not easy.  But the rewards are huge.  The ego wants us to be right.  The ego wants us to believe that the other person is the enemy in those moments.  But the higher consciousness knows that this person is not the enemy, they are your partner, your manager, your spouse, and that there is no reason to have to protect ourselves in those moments.

Listen to the voice of you higher consciousness and be happy.  Listen to the voice of the ego and be right.  Every moment in life you get to choose.  Which one will you choose the next time you have a conflict?



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