Conflict is Good for Progress

by John Seeker

Here I am not talking about armed conflict, but strong differences of opinion and I will offer two examples. The first is within quite a large company. Everybody is supposed to be a team player. There is a percentage of people working there who are not in agreement with the way things are being done and so forth, but the are afraid to bring it up for fear of being thought against the team, or a crank if their counter proposal seems way out, or even fear of ruining their prospects. It may even be all those fears wrapped up together.

So the result is they don’t say anything or they are so wishy washy and circumspect that it does not get noticed. Have you any idea what the percentage of people in a company is that fall into that category? 15% perhaps? Right, except that’s the number of people that do NOT fall into that category, as studies show that 85% of the people working do fall into it. That’s a very high amount. What it means that 85% of the company are not able to give the best of themselves because of their fears of the results of provoking a conflict over something!

The second example is from another site I frequented. There was a person, seemed to be a woman, who disagreed with virtually everything I posted or reply I made. She didn’t have her tongue in her pocket as the French say. She did it outside the rules, much use of personal insults. I didn’t use pesonal insults because I new she had mental health problems, but we went at it hammer and tongs. We drew in facets of the subject, got deeper and deeper into it and so on. The result was we exchanged a lot and our respect for each other grew and we even started liking each other. More importantly, we both grew in understanding, not just of each other, but in the subjects under discussion. Therein lies the value of conflict

Of course, it requires a certain capacity to be able to allow it and deal with it without getting irritated or having an ego explosion. That capacity is obviously lacking in those who block people or just want friends only. In fact there seems to quite a tendency not to get involved in a real conflict here. What is there to fear? None of the normal fears mentioned above apply. The worst that can happen is you’re proved wrong. If you are wrong, would it not be preferable to know it so you can evolve a little? For that reason I’m happy to be proved wrong, though I don’t give in easily, unless its blatantly obvious, lol.

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