Myths You Need to Know About Conflict

conflict resolution

1. All conflict is bad

Conflict that is approached constructively and in a healthy way can be good conflict. It causes us to consider other people’s perspectives and opinions while also reflecting on why we are holding so tightly to our own views and opinions. Conflict can help us to try to find a way to live more peacefully with other people.

2. All conflict can be resolved

Not all conflict can be resolved. You might have a fundamental value difference with somebody that you can’t resolve and all the arguing in the world isn’t going to change either of your minds. So you might as well stop arguing and realize that it’s going to be unresolved conflict. But what you can (and should) do is always show kindness and respect even when you disagree with someone. You’ve probably heard the saying, “you can disagree without being disagreeable.”

3. All personality conflicts cannot be resolved

Many people think that if you have a personality conflict with somebody you’re just never going to get along with them. However, you can learn to understand somebody’s personality style better. In doing so, you can also understand your own personality style, and you can adapt to get along with anybody. You may not become best of friends with this person, but that does not mean you have to be in a constant state of conflict with them. Learn to understand and appreciate how others communicate, and the differences between how they communicate and how you do.

Conflict resolution isn't about everyone winning

4. Conflict resolution is about everyone winning

If you are currently, or you’ve ever been, in a long-term relationship, you know that conflict is not always about both people winning. Sometimes you have to yield your position and the other person needs to win. Sometimes you just need to do what’s in the best interest of other people. Sometimes you get to win in the conflict, but others are losing out. Conflict resolution is certainly not about everyone winning, it’s more about everyone being heard.

5. People are born with a natural ability to resolve conflict

We were all born with a natural tendency to want things to go our own way. Everyone has to learn how to set some of that aside and resolve the conflict. Depending on your personality type, this may be easier or more difficult for you, but people are not simply naturally born with an ability to resolve the conflict. We all have to work at it to some degree.

Leaders need to have the ability to resolve conflict respectfully and effectively. This is one of the key differences between a manager who has been promoted based solely on their technical skills and a leader who has developed the skills needed to inspire greater engagement and productivity in their team.