Most of us don’t do conflict all that well, so we usually avoid it.
(I know, I know. You’re thinking of a few folks who seem to conjure up conflict from thin air. Understood, but in my experience, those folks are WAY in the minority.) Back to my point…
Conflict is OK. Really.
It can actually be quite beneficial, if managed well.
When leaders (of families, churches, schools, businesses, ball teams, etc.) decide to learn the skills of managing conflict effectively, then teach/coach/model the same for those in our organizations, we stand a pretty good chance of making our organizations stronger.
Daniel Goleman’s Emotional Intelligence (1994) and Social Intelligence (2006) both point us to deeper understanding of the skills for managing conflict. While both books are excellent reads for anyone interested in self or organizational improvement, Goleman’s assertions for effective emotional/social interaction are premised in these four elements:
- Self awareness/knowledge
- Self regulation/control
- Others awareness
- Relationship management
As we grow more adept in each of those dimensions, the ability to manage, in fact, leverage, conflict follows.