When Iron Sharpens Iron—Sparks Fly (And That’s Okay)

Conflict is something people tend to avoid at all costs. It’s uncomfortable and difficult. It’s takes time to resolve and typically feels counter-productive.

The truth is, we cannot run from conflict. It’s inevitable.

In a recent blog post, Matt Levy wrote, “Conflict has nearly torn our company apart. Learning to embrace it has made us the company we are today.”

Conflict may be uncomfortable, but it is not always bad. When handled in a healthy way, conflict is a great opportunity to refine ideas, develop character, broaden perspectives, and strengthen relationships.

When iron sharpens iron, sparks fly. And that’s okay.

It’s important to remember that humility is the key to working through conflict in a productive manner. If our goal is to “win” we will miss the bigger opportunity every time. We must learn to set aside our pride and seek reconciliation. This means looking in the mirror and owning our own part of a conflict.

When conflict is handled well, great things happen. Relationships deepen and trust is built. Teams make better decisions because great ideas are shared and discussed without fear. Leaders sharpen one another.

Is conflict being resolved in a healthy way in your organization? If not, what steps can you personally take to improve how conflict is handled? What benefits have you experienced from kind, direct, and humble conflict resolution?

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