Written By: Paul VanderGriendt, Event Management Coordinator
Mentorship Session Diary. Entry 16
Conflict and disagreement are unavoidable in our daily lives. Some of us may be collaborators, which allows us to work together to find the best solution for everyone. Some may be competitors or compromisers, while others may look to avoid or accommodate. Everyone approaches conflict differently and by being aware of our own tendencies, we can learn to grow and approach difficult situations appropriately. Sometimes preconceived notions or judgement about another person can create a mental barrier that leads to disagreement and miscommunication. By pushing ourselves to be open-minded and accepting, we are able to cooperate with each other instead of pushing others away.
When we shift our mindset towards asking questions, listening and learning when we communicate, rather than looking to argue, we begin to break down barriers that lead to conflict, disagreement and misunderstanding. Our emotions can also be a barrier when it comes to interacting positively with others. If we let our emotions get the best of us and bring anger or frustration into an already contentious situation, it will rarely lead to a good outcome. Separating past experiences and influences from current situations can be difficult, but sometimes it is important to approach new situations with an objective mind and a clear head.
Each of us has a different perspective and approaches life in a different way. When we bring our own expectations, sometimes unrealistic expectations, into our relationships it can lead to confusion, disappointment and unnecessary tension. It’s important to remember that sometimes we have to accept people as they are, not who we expect them to be. What is good for us is not always good for someone else and we need to be able to embrace each other despite all of our differences.
When we know who we are and what is important to us, it becomes easier to be thoughtful and even avoid unnecessary conflict that causes us stress and drains our energy. In the end, communication and overcoming conflict is how we build connections and grow relationships with those around us. By having an open mind, we can be intentional about how we approach conflict and come together for a positive outcome.