Don’t Run Away From Task Conflicts
June 10, 2021
When you have relationships of any sort- Partner, Friends, Colleagues, Family-there will all be some conflict brewing somewhere.
Most of us are uncomfortable getting into any conflict head-on. The reasons for trying to avoid conflict could vary.
- You don’t want people to be mad at you.
- Or, you don’t want to get emotionally sucked into an argument.
- Or, you want to keep the relationship healthy. So you are happy letting the other person win the argument.
- Or, you don’t want to waste your time getting into a fight.
There are two types of conflicts: Personal and Task-related.
When a conflict becomes personal, it’s never good because the issue takes a back seat while our ego takes center stage. The conflict in this situation is with the other person and not the issue. It’s always a great idea to avoid getting into conflicts that become personal, because there is no upside. You just end up wasting a lot of emotional energy.
Task conflicts, on the other hand, relate to some issue or task. Someone challenges your idea or proposal; that is a task conflict, and we should always be ready to engage in a task conflict because it is a way to stress test the idea or the issue. Task conflicts make you better.
Unfortunately, many of us conflate personal conflicts with task conflicts. If someone challenges our idea, we take it personally. We let our ego come into play, and we feel threatened. And, we start attributing motives to the other person. We think, “She is challenging my idea because she wants to show me down”. By doing this, we squander a valuable opportunity to learn and improve.
When we are in a work setting, task conflicts will be inevitable, and we should get comfortable engaging in hearty, challenging, and difficult conversations. Being able to engage in task conflicts is an important life skill, and we should not avoid them just because they make us uncomfortable. Anything that challenges our viewpoint about something will feel uncomfortable. But, it this discomfort that is the catalyst for new ideas and new beliefs to emerge.
We must have the courage to fight for our ideas and the resilience to lose a conflict without losing our resolve to fight again.