Embracing conflicts

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Most people don't like conflict. Heck, I myself don't like it one bit. It's draining, it sucks the joy out of your life. It's not nice in the moment, and often produces long-lasting shockwaves made of questioning, guilt and regrets.
Yet, it's necessary. Conflicts, or disagreements expressed clearly and unequivocally are often a needed step between the status quo and an improved new normal.
In business, avoiding conflicts is probably the root of all evil. It leads you to avoid having the hard conversation that unlock situations, it leads you to accept what you're not comfortable with. It's ignoring your needs, and lying to others who assume you are in agreement.
Who hasn't had a discussion tough enough that they were anxious to have it in the first place, and felt a world of relief and joy afterwards? Communicating openly is the number one factor to a healthy relationship for a very good reason: it builds trust.
Trusting someone who communicates clearly is much easier. There is no guess work, everything is clear and factual, silence confidently means that everything is fine, as concerns would be voiced otherwise. Working with people who have the capacity to openly face disagreements usually makes for deeper, longer lasting, less emotionally tiring relationships.
Looking back on my 20 years of work experience, hindsight tells me that bad communication stems from a fear of conflict, which leads to bad situations often growing to a point of no-return. I've also noted that this trait is often amplified by stress. Problem is, in business like in sports, it's often in the most stressful moments that you need to show your highest clarity of thought and strongest assertiveness.
This anti-intuitive aspect is now core to my toolbox for hiring, collaborating with partners, or pretty much anything. I value situations of disagreements, and give a lot of credits to people who can address and face uncomfortable situations, especially if it's done gently and firmly.

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