EMAIL #128 - 18TH JULY 2021 - "EMBRACING CONFLICT"
Welcome to my "personal therapy session" part 2!
Can you believe that we are in the middle of Victoria's fifth lockdown and we really have no idea for how long??
Hopefully this email's content has some micro benefits for us all whilst coping with the Groundhogs Day restrictions we are living with?
last week I dove into one of my most feared topics "conflict" and have felt better for doing so!
To keep this beneficial flow going, this week I will dig a little deeper into this topic to see if I can learn more about my aversion to putting myself in uncomfortable situations that invariably involve some form of conflict.
Conflict is unfortunately a natural part of every work place and everyone's life. It is human nature to want to fit in and get along with everyone, so it feels uncomfortable to challenge other people and to go against the flow. But to not challenge others and deliberately avoid conflict can have real negative consequences that are considerably more painful and more long term than a few uncomfortable conversations.
"Just saying yes because you can't bear the pain of saying no is not going to help you do the work." Seth Godin
The problems caused by avoiding conflict can be complex and long term, but here is a summary of some typical problems,
- It creates procrastination and delays necessary decision making.
- It reduces productivity, morale, and enjoyment at work.
- It unnecessarily penalizes other people. (I.e., other people get dragged into your shit)
- It creates more conflict and more complex problems down the road.
I have recently become aware of something important about myself, thanks to one of my current clients; that I am really bad at faking it when a conversation turns uncomfortable or when delivering bad news. We were discussing a possible cost blow out with the timber flooring at a site meeting and the client sensed that I was skirting around the real cost increase, and she called me out on it then and there and told me that I was bad at faking it and to please give her the real costs. So, by avoiding an uncomfortable conversation and holding back the truth, I was doing a real disservice to both my client and myself, which could have ultimately resulted in a loss of trust.
I still have more to say about this topic, so I will continue exploring it further next week. But to finish this week I found a really beautiful quote which talks to when it is okay to avoiding pain and conflict.
"There is no pain equal to that which two lovers can inflict on one another.
The avoidance of this pain is the beginning of wisdom, for it is strong enough to contaminate the rest of our lives."
PS: Therapy is not a solo endeavour, so if you ever feel that I am avoiding conflict or an uncomfortable conversation, please call it out and make sure I embrace the discomfort.
Thanks for reading,
Stay safe and be vulnerable (subtle hint to next week’s subject matter!)