Sharing, musing, reflecting...



conflict or perception



What’s your relationship with conflict?  By conflict, I don’t include physical combat, just disagreements.

Do you avoid conflict at all costs?
Or do you embrace it or even encourage it?

We all make different meanings and have different feelings when we think about ‘conflict’ and this impacts our relationship to it. For example, if you perceive conflict simply as a difference in opinion, then what’s the problem? Thinking differently is natural.

Other people perceive conflict as confrontation or fighting, and they will often strive to avoid this at all costs.

At it’s essence, conflict is simply about difference -  difference in thought - whether that’s our ideas, reasons, beliefs, rules, memories, evaluations or opinions…

If you have an internal conflict, then it may feel like one part of you thinks in one way while another part thinks in a conflicting way.  If it’s a conflict between parties, then each party has a different perspective or point of view. And that’s all it ever is – a point of view – and therefore never fixed or true.

In our day to day lives, unhealthy conflict isn’t created by a difference of opinions or value but by people’s desire to                                     protect their own opinions or values.

Conflict t is something we can all learn from, so here are 4 things to reflect on;

1) When people get upset, defensive or conflicted, it means that, at some level, something is important to them.  What is that?  When you understand what’s important to people, this gives you the key to learning, connecting, changing minds and influencing new choices and behaviour.

2) We all operate from our own thinking. We live in separate realities but we all get to experience life the same way – via thought. Conflict is the natural clash of different views and ideas that creates new and exciting paths. Disruption is the fuel of creativity.
As long as understand that, conflict can be the ultimate creative process.

3)  Conflict teaches you something about yourself. You get to see what really matters to you (and what doesn’t). Inside every moment of struggle, frustration or upset is an opportunity to understand ourselves and the human condition more deeply.

4)  Conflict is purely a perception. Conflict isn’t something that’s out there, separate from you.  It’s an internal response to how we are thinking in any given moment. And thinking instantly creates certain emotions. So if people are feeling discomfort with conflict, what they are really experiencing is their own thinking, projected outwards. We are quite literally, bumping up against our own thoughts.

When a person is avoiding conflict, they are also avoiding or limiting the possibility of deeper connection, increasing learning and fostering greater creativity.  So I invite you to notice what happens when you consider your relationship with conflict and encourage others to do the same.


ps. I don’t know the author of this image, so if you have a source, please tell us so we can credit them appropriately.

Chantal Burns ScreenshotChantal Burns

Executive Coach, Speaker and Bestselling Author of

'INSTANT MOTIVATION: The Surprising Truth Behind What Really Drives Top Performance'

Click here to get Instant Motivation

This entry was posted in Thinking. Bookmark the permalink. Comments are closed, but you can leave a trackback: Trackback URL.
  • Free weekly influence tips

    A three minute read for a lifetime of value delivered straight to your inbox

  • Sign Up

Say Goodbye to Stress with bestselling online course