In saying that, we realize that the word conflict is loaded emotionally. Many people associate conflict with destructive images, of people shouting at one another, of gangs shooting at each other, of countries involved in wars.
Certainly those are conflicted situations. But conflict, at its core, involves disagreement, differing ideas and opinions, discrepant evaluations and judgments. People are different. Each person walking this earth has a different slant on things, different ways of seeing what is unfolding, different strategies for dealing with all the situations life throws at us.
Issues regarding conflict are confusing. Is conflict good, or bad? How do I manage it? Let’s put one proposition on the table right up front: Conflict is necessary and beneficial, at least conflict that is focused properly (i.e. the Blue Zone which we will discuss later). As conflict strays away from issues, and accesses personal stories (i.e. the Red Zone), conflict becomes unmanageable and destructive.
How do you experience conflict and manage it? In the following two posts we’ll explore the Red Zone and the Blue Zone. You will discover key concepts and tools to help you navigate conflict in healthy ways.