When you experience a violent storm, it’s easy to rail against the weather. The wind and the rain can seem terrifying, especially when coupled with the crash of thunder and the bright crackle of lightning splitting the sky. But ask any farmer, and they’ll tell you that even storms have their benefits. The rain is necessary for their crops. And believe it or not, lightning, when it strikes the ground, puts nitrogen into the soil that’s so badly needed for things to grow.
Likewise, conflict in the workplace has certain benefits that we don’t always see initially. Keep reading to find several of them you might not have considered before now.
- Conflicts make us aware of new ways to do things. The very fact that there’s a conflict tells you that someone else has a different point of view from your own. By exploring those conflicts, you are likewise invited to explore the idea from a new angle, and maybe see a new solution that wouldn’t have occurred previously.
- Conflicts enable us to verbalize better what we want. Think of conflict as a way of being able to genuinely express yourself that doesn’t come up easily 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. When in conflict, we’re hoping for others to see our point of view. But also, in dealing with conflict, we’re forced to see the point of view of those around us. That is where we learn how to become flexible, to acknowledge that we’re not always right. The conflict then becomes the teacher of two traits that you can’t live without—that of being open-minded, and of understanding humility.
- Conflict forces us to listen. The only way to resolve conflict is to listen with an open mind to the other person. Through listening, we acquire wisdom, and the ability to make better decisions.
- Conflict drives solutions. When you deal with conflict, you are likewise dealing with a problem that needs a solution. Resolving that conflict means finding those solutions, usually in new and innovative ways. Conflict, therefore, forces us to solve our problems creatively.
While initially, you might shy away from the idea of conflict, it’s good to remember these benefits. Without conflict, we stagnate. So, while the storm outside might rage, remember that eventually, all tempests do come to an end. The sun will come out again, and in that light, you’ll be able to see just how much you’ve grown and benefitted by that conflict.