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Conflict Resolution

If you have been on this earth for even a few minutes, you have had to deal with conflict of some kind. Resolving these issues is often not the most pleasant thing to deal with. Add to that the time and the emotional capital that one has to invest to deal with even the smallest conflict can be exhausting.

This past week we had to deal with a conflict that came to our attention. As we navigated the challenge at hand, I couldn’t help but think about what the standard expectation should be for how people (or businesses) treat one another. In the simplest context, what do we owe each other? This line of thought led to today’s Huddle Up theme.

No matter how much we debated the conflict in question, I kept coming back to that word, “owe”. It is a small word with a big meaning. If we owe something to someone there is a form of a contract in place. A commitment to do something for someone else. As I dove deeper into this concept, I came up with a short list of five things I believe we owe to each other. Here it is.

We owe it to each other to:

  • Be honest.

  • Be forthright.

  • Be transparent.

  • Be fair.

  • Treat people equally.

It’s a short list and I’m sure one could add more to it. At the same time, violating any of these five tenets will very likely lead to a conflict (in the case of the issue that was brought to us this past week, it covered all five of them). If our goal is to build bridges, develop positive partnerships, and to grow our businesses, ignoring these standards isn’t a good long-term strategy.

Nobody is perfect, I’m certainly not. It’s unlikely anyone will go their entire lives without creating a conflict, even unintentionally. If we are responsible for one, I think there is one more thing we owe to whomever we have negatively impacted – own the mistake.

At the end of the day, if we can count on one another to at least try to uphold these five values, society has a chance. And when we err, own it, and try and make things right.

Wishing you a positive week, free of conflict.

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