It never fails. Conflict always teaches.
It’s still not pleasant, fun or relaxing, but it is the best personal teacher I have ever met.
I used to think my goal was to stay calm, to be the reasonable one, to show no reaction. But, the more I tried those things, the more a reaction would build in me. It would smolder until it ignited and then I was definitely the most unreasonable one.
When I hit my flash point in conflict, I typically lose my vision, I say every crappy thing I’ve been pretending I don’t think. I can’t take in my surroundings. I’m off balance and non-sensical. But, I’ve learned how to be less judgmental of myself in this place. Because, when I’m through with the conflict, there is a lot of learning material to be sifted through. I learn from taking responsibility for my actions, thoughts and words and I learn from how they make me feel.
On the other side is the information I get from the person(s) I’m in conflict with. If I feel defensive about what they are saying, I make sure to remember so I can go back and learn more about myself.
The ring is the same. You learn by having your cover dismantled. You learn what your repeating patterns are…….what your defaults tend to be and where you typically attack. If you keep your mind frame in learning mode, after the heat passes, you have all the information you need right at your fingertips.
Most people define learning too narrow as “problem solving” so they focus on identifying and correcting errors in the external environment……if learning is to persist, managers and employees must also look inward. -Chris Argyris- Harvard Business Review
Keep making mistakes, keep having conflict, keep learning and if you want to maximize your learning potential…..