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Live each day as if it were your last. Someday, you'll be right.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Bring on the Conflict!!!

I must admit, I don't like confrontation. I don't want to be the police of grammar, dress codes, etc. But conflict, on the other hand, is another story. I believe in the business case for diversity because I know that differing viewpoints/perspectives can enhance the decision-making/planning process.


noun.  clash - collision - fight - strife - battle - struggle
verb.  clash - collide - disagree

When I was growing up, we used a sponge instead of a dish-rag to clean our drainboards, not counter-tops. I never knew any other way until I went to a diverse elementary school and learned that there were other kids in homes who had different names for the various things in their domiciles like utility rooms, laundry rooms, pantries, couches, sofas, chesterfields, etc. Pride of status and my own upbringing taught me to think my family's ways/terms were superior. But for some reason, I didn't like to think of myself as "better" than anyone else, so I embraced everyone who was different from me and I never ceased learning.

This musing will not present a scholarly treatise on the benefits of conflict. I will just surmise what you already know, even if it hasn't touched the surface of your consciousness yet.

When someone disagrees with you, what is your first response? Incredulity? Anger? Self-defense? If any of these are true, you might benefit from a study of emotional intelligence. When someone disagrees with you - hence - conflicts with your views - you should stop and think/contemplate/consider/ponder - did I grasp the entirety of the issue I intended to convey? Most certainly, the answer is, you did not!

The late Peter Drucker said that "You need dissent, but you have to make it productive...All the first-rate decision-makers I've observed had a very simple rule...If you have quick consensus on an important matter, don't make the decision. Acclamation means nobody has done the homework."


If everyone agrees with you, challenge their (and your own) assumptions.

  • challenge assumptions
  • require new perspectives (even if they are way out there)
  • encourage growth
This will create an opportunity for each to understand his/her-self and learn better ways of communicating, which will encourage growth. 

If you want to remain immature and perhaps someday become obsolete, surround yourself with those who agree with everything you say/think. If you want to change something/the status quo/everything/the world, then surround yourself with those who have their own ideas/perspectives and are willing to open themselves up to the challenge of conflicting/dissenting/opposing views as you are. 

Your life/our world will never be the same...

Discordant Harmony

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