Opportunity in Conflict

If you’re in an employment dispute, it’s all too easy to get wrapped up in negativity: finger-pointing, petty arguments, defensiveness, close-mindedness and rash judgments.  I’ve made these mistakes myself, as an attorney who is not a personal party to these disputes– I can only imagine how hard it is for the disputing parties to set aside hard feelings.  But it can be done.  Ultimately, conflicts get resolved.  Sometimes, through a legal judgment.  More often, through settlement– that is, through an agreement reached at some later point when the parties come around and work together.  Why not work together sooner?

When feeling negative, I try to remind myself to look at conflict as an opportunity.  An opportunity to DO several things.  To be courteous when the situation makes it hard to.  To state my position in a manner that is factual and not offensive.  To follow the Rules- and look to them as a beacon in times of turmoil and stress.  To, when upset, count to ten (or one hundred).

Conflict also presents an opportunity to NOT do things.  To refuse to take the bait, when insulted.  To, as Will Rogers once said, “Never miss a good chance to shut up.”  To refuse to lose one’s cool.

Of course, all of this is easier to say than do.  But I believe that someday, I’ll reach a point where I consistently maintain this approach.  What about you?

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Filed under Philosophy - Employee Rights

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