I have worked for many years in companies who are experiencing conflict. When I met a man who also works in this area, I was particularly struck by how he described his work. He used the analogy of the alchemist. Historically the term alchemy has been used to describe the transmutation of ordinary common metals into gold, but it is also used to express the bringing together of different elements to create something good. How appropriate for the area of conflict. My contact talked about how, in the right circumstances, it is possible to bring the different conflicting elements together and strike gold. He said that you walk away with something so much more powerful and creative.
The positive side of disagreement
In a world where conflict is often viewed as a bad thing, this is a refreshing perception. Conflict is inevitable; we see it in all areas of life. Sometimes we think that if we have a high emotional intelligence or are nice people we won’t have conflict, but in my experience the opposite is often true because people with high emotional intelligence don’t shy away from difficult situations. Conflict is a normal, natural and inevitable part of life. It also provides the edge for new ideas and innovation to develop.
Divergence of opinion allow us to take a closer look at ourselves, to grow and develop. They encourage us to find different and new solutions to problems and generate more ideas. Don’t shy away from a little conflict; use it to do a bit of alchemy.
Clare writes: What can you learn from any clashes you are in? How might you use it to create some alchemy between your ideas and others’ ideas? What are the possibilities that neither of you have considered yet?