Wisdom From Books

Conflicts are positive!!!!

Posted on: March 13, 2010

Conflict is part of our lives and occur frequently. Question is: How to resolve conflicts?

When you think of conflict, what comes to mind?

Fighting? Aggression? Hatred? Fear? Struggles? Battles? Or can you think of conflict positively, as challenge, opportunity, energy, passion, creativity, engagement?

Leaders, teachers, parents, coaches—everybody engaged in dealing with other people must learn to like handling conflict. For many people, it is a shock to think that conflicts are positive and one should ‘like’ to deal with conflicts!

Conflict can be defined as a difference between two or more persons or groups characterized by tension, disagreement, and polarization when bonding is broken or completely lacking. At the root of all conflict is broken bonding and failure to handle loss.

Put the fish on the table:

Each time we eat a fish dinner, someone has had to clean and prepare that fish. If you leave a fish under the table, it starts to rot and smell.

Unfortunately, many people leave a lot of fish—conflicts and issues—under their table. They do not face the discord, hoping it will vanish. However, leaving the fish under the table not only does not remove the conflict but also makes the odor worse and worse. What every person needs to do is reach under the table, grab the fish, put it on the table, and go through the mess of cleaning the fish (the conflict) to have a great fish dinner (the solution) at the end of the day. Now, it is true that sometimes we may reach under the table and find a shark or a whale!!!

So we must be aware of the size of the conflict in order to handle it properly. Putting the fish on the table does not mean to be aggressive and hostile.

Conflict resolution:

The resolution of conflict comes through creating and maintaining a bond with the other person irrespective of differences and of any dislike of the person. We do not have to like someone to form a bond with him or her. We only need a common goal.

Another secret of successful conflict resolution is the ability to continually maintain the bond and to re-bond when a bond is broken too quickly for whatever reason. Taking a positive approach to conflict involves understanding that bonding is fundamental to any resolution. Here is the suggestion from the book by the author on conflict resolution:

1. Never create an enemy

2. The person is never a problem. Focus on issue; not on the person to ensure a resolution.

3. Maintain a sincere desire to help the other person get what he or she wants or needs.

4. Never be hijacked by attacks and intense emotions. Never take aggressive words or actions personally. Keep your thoughts clear and never lose sight of the goal.

Here is a nice picture I found on team work…..


What do you think about conflict resolution? You may share your ideas by providing your comments.




5 Responses to "Conflicts are positive!!!!"

The issue under debate is that of becoming a “solution provider” rather than becoming a bottle neck/ hindrance/ obstacle or fuel to fire, or the problem.

How to “resolve” the conflict without any party feeling embarssed or insulted, “is an art that needs to be mastered first.”

A fish is a fish, whether a whale or shark, for all give odour and require cleaning up. All issues require tactful handling, no matter how big or small…for even pebbles create waves i still water, though the effect of large waves can be devastating.

Can tactfullness be acquired, or is it inborn? Let professionalism reveal in the test!

It is pretty nicely explained about the conflict resolution. My only question is: If shark or whale is under the table and the one who picks it up, is also sharp or whale. What is the solution then.


Nice one Jamil Sb – In such case, you have to read whole book!!!! 🙂 Actually, what you have mentioned is pretty serious matter and once conflict get real tough, a person has to deal with it accordingly. In this book, the author has provided with various real life examples of hostage negotiations and tougher measures. Hence, I would suggest reading of the whole book….

Dear MM

Thanks for bringing up a debatable topic.

Conflict is normally associated with negative feelings and has the connotations that you mentioned.

One of the reason for conflict is diversity as I see it. As humans we are all different and unique and have our own way of looking at things. Conflict resolution demands us to open up to new ideas and suggestions and the possibility that there may be other ways of looking at the same thing.

This may also mean that in the end we might be proven wrong. So one of the tasks in conflict resolution, then, is to be courageous enough to think and admit that I could be wrong.

Have a great week.

The silent readers are welcome to comment!! 🙂

Malik, dear brother, thanks for hosting this..!

Paramount topic and even intense realization in easy to understand language.. Unusal these days!

Best regards

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