Productive Conflict – Arguing
Is it just me or does it seem like conflicts are surrounding us more and more lately? There lies the inspiration for my next writings.
As the first in a series of blogs, the following includes some helpful information from Everything DiSC® Productive Conflict Reference Guide. The introduction reads:
“People respond to conflict in many different ways. And while there are healthy ways to deal with conflict, they may not be our go-to responses when we feel threatened, or our emotions are heightened. It's our instinct to protect ourselves, leading to some knee-jerk responses that we may not even think about, and some that we may later regret. Why do we do this? The following pages provide some helpful insight into why we may respond to conflict in ways that are unproductive, or even destructive.”
Arguing is understandably the first topic that the reference guide addresses. Most conflicts lead to arguing at some point. The literature suggests:
“Arguing is unhealthy when it becomes about winning and losing, when the emphasis is no longer on getting at the truth or the best solution. It becomes about protecting our egos and putting other people in their place. And so, like any competition, the “best” strategy is to give up as little ground as possible to your adversary. As a result, any chance for empathy goes out the window. Therefore, in the midst of an argument, one of the most important things we can do is be honest with ourselves about our real motivations. What emotions are fueling me right now? How much is this about winning? Ask yourself: How much of my response is really about winning?”
Egos? Who has an ego? Yes, I admit that self-pride seems to be the root cause of most arguments that I have been involved in or witnessed. Protecting our egos seems to be the primary motivator. The emotions that come along with that likely include hurt that someone would doubt or challenge your thinking, anger that your pride is being busted up, and resentment that you are placed in a position to guard feelings. What other emotions can you think of that emerge during arguments? When these motivations and emotions are guiding our responses, you bet we are in the mode to ‘win’. We want to prove ourselves right and the other person wrong. That’s the honesty about arguing. Now to consider the reality of the outcome. Does the way that we usually respond to an argument resemble this and is it productive?
If we can step back before our egos leads the way, we can reflect on our motives and emotions before we respond. Arguments can evolve into meaningful and productive conversations that don’t rely on having a winner or a loser.
Everything DiSC® has researched the topic if conflict and provides the solution Productive Conflict to help us with successful resolutions. You can find more information including a video on Everything DiSC® Productive Conflict here: