If you’re new to running a small business, it will takes you months if not years, to learn optimal ways of communicating and leading your staff.
While you’re working through this process, one of the challenges you will undoubtedly face is conflict resolution.
Unfortunately, we have not yet figured out how to use small business software applications to make this process easier. This is a skill that is only learned through experience, and it’s a steep learning curve.
Benefits of Conflict
The benefits of conflict are two-fold. Firstly, it’s the best training available. Resolving conflict under pressure, when your heart is beating and the clock is ticking, is like going jogging with arm and leg weights.
When you eventually go jogging unencumbered by weights, your body feels light and free, and you can jog for hours.
Similarly, solving problems while sipping on coffee in a quiet office becomes a light and easy process once you’ve had high-pressure conflict resolution experience.
People often remark on a sense of calm about small business owners. This is because small business owners are faced with conflict on a regular basis, such as fixing highly sensitive problems, and dealing with emotional people who might be angry or upset.
After several years of dealing with such stress-filled, emotionally tense issues, it’s much harder to become upset over run of the mill problems.
To over-dramatise, as in the movie Fight Club :
After fighting, everything else in your life gets the volume turned down.
The other benefit of conflict is that you get to see what someone is really like. Nothing brings out real personalities faster than conflict and difficult situations.
Sometimes people will impress you with their steely determination and focus. Once you’ve worked with someone under pressure to solve a difficult problem, it becomes much easier to trust them, and the team and company benefits as a result.
However, I’ve had the experience where people completely lose it, and start shouting in your face. Or worse, the client’s face. This is also a valuable datapoint.
“If you can keep your wits about you while all others are losing theirs, and blaming you. . . . The world will be yours and everything in it, what’s more, you’ll be a man, my son.”
Thanks for reading. Tune in next time for some real-life examples and practical advice on conflict resolution.