[blockquote author=”John C. Maxwell”]People may hear your words, but they feel your attitude[/blockquote]

Becoming an artful practitioner of conflict resolution is an artful skill…

As individuals, we face tension from every aspect of our lives. Some tension is good, acting as a motivator to improve upon our areas of weakness. Other times tension is a direct result of personality conflicts and reactionary confrontations.

When faced with a workplace conflict, a resolution is only achieved when we communicate as if we are the receiver. In Harper Lee’s 1960 masterpiece, To Kill a Mockingbird, Lee describes the importance of personal perspectives, “You never really understand a person until you consider things from their point of view… Until you climb into their skin and walk around in it…”

In To Kill a Mockingbird, Atticus Finch, the central role model, was faced with an immense amount of conflict, yet was unwavering in his desire to sacrifice his own perspective to greater serve those around him.

To properly function in the business world, conflict must be resolved, not perpetuated. What this means for those involved in conflict is that it is imperative to listen to what the other individual is trying to say, understand their perspective and seek not to win the argument, but rather, restore the relationship.

Becoming a skillful practitioner in human dynamics is a long process. It is a process that requires us to listen to others more than we listen to ourselves. Conflict resolution is only achieved when we truly recognize the value in other people and use the wisdom that we have attained to strengthen our relationships.

Unfortunately, conflict resolution is an acquired skill rather than an inherited talent. However, as long as we reflect and grow from our experiences of tension and conflict, we become better individuals.