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The Scary C-Word

by Jason Dykstra
June 2011 Jason Dykstra
The C-word is something that we are scared of. Many people even avoid saying the word for fear that it will happen to them. At the first sign of it they run, or fight, or freeze. We try to avoid it, we try to hide it, we walk on egg-shells around it. The word that I’m talking about of course is conflict.
There has been a few times on my Facebook and Twitter that I have asked people – What’s the first thing you think of when it comes to the word conflict? I also ask this question in the workshops that I facilitate. There has been many, many responses…everything from avoid, run, disagreements, ruined relationships, fights, screaming, compromising, freeze, I think you get the point. What do all these things have in common? They are all negative outlooks on the word conflict. Every now and then when I ask the question about conflict I get a few positive remarks about it, but those are usually few and far between.
Let’s be honest here for a minute, we all have conflict. I dare say we have conflict every day. I have conflict, you have conflict, the world has conflict, and fine, I can agree that conflict can have some negative attributes, but I’m here to tell you that conflict is good. No…it’s not good…it’s great. Yes that’s right, great. I love conflict, and here are two quick reasons why (other than it’s my profession);
Builds Relationships/Rapport: Have you ever heard of the saying, “if it doesn’t kill you it makes you stronger”? If we manage our conflict well it can strengthen our relationships. Think of some of the best relationships you have, friends, spouses, family, co-worker, and I can guarantee you there was a time where you were tired of that person, or in a conflict or dispute with that person. What happened as a result? You worked together through it and now have a stronger bond because of it.
Spawns creativity: If we all agreed with each other how would we ever think of creative ideas, new inventions, new solutions, something different then everyday life! By disagreeing or discussing the conflict between our two (or more) ideas we are spawning the birth for new ideas to take place. Those conflicting ideas can form together to create an even better idea or thought or action. Do you follow me?
These are just two quickly explained reasons why I love conflict and why you might as well. So do yourself a favour and go cause some conflict! Let me know how it goes in the comments below! Onward fellow conflict causers!

Biography


Jason is a Conflict Management Specialist who is helping organizations and congregations move from conflict situations to creative solutions. He specializes in relational and communication issues and uses his experience and training in mediation, group facilitation, conflict management coaching, speaking and teaching to aid you and your surroundings to better cope with conflict and become more conflict resilient. Jason has a background in social services, working with individuals with developmental disabilities, mental health and at-risk youth. He complements his experience with an Advanced Certificate in Conflict Management and is currently in pursuit of his Master's Degree in Leadership. Jason lives in St. George, Ontario with his beautiful wife and two children.



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Website: www.jasondyk.com

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