Most people avoid conflict at all costs. Many times, to the point of allowing themselves to suffer instead of finding resolve. When you think of conflict, chances are high that you start squirming in your seat. In fact, our entire lives we do every single thing possible to avoid having the “tough conversations”. We never tell our waiter that our food sucks, we never tell people when they make us angry, we never tell people that their dry shampoo “look” isn’t working, when their kid is an a-hole, we never tell people when they fail to meet our expectations, and, ultimately, we never do anything remotely close to bring up anything that will make either party feel uncomfortable. But conflict, when intentional can be so productive and I believe more people should be deliberate about creating and facing conflicts because this is where true growth comes from. It forces accountability and it forces people to meet a certain level of expectation while demanding a solution. When used intentionally, conflict is helpful, productive, and even refreshing. Let’s call it “Canflict”.
Intentionally facing conflict can move individuals, businesses, partnerships, and marriages, forward in a healthy way because it forces tough moments to create a better life. Whenever you have to have a difficult conversation, do not put it off. Be passionate and charge with intention (like a rhino) so that you and all parties can move on and grow for the better, together. Let me warn you when attempting productive or intentional “canflict”, the person receiving it has to know your heart and intentions of where you are coming from. Otherwise, the whole point of having the intentional confrontation is missed and bitterness and resentment set in.
I actually love conflict. People often ask me why I like conflict so much and it’s because I enjoy the forced honesty, frankness from both sides, and finding a solution together. When people have candor and have intentional, uncomfortable conversations to seek truth – resolve and growth are the results. The old adage of iron sharpens iron can be applied here because when you foster a culture of non-candid surface-level conversations, people get passive-aggressive and cancerous which directly affects everything in a negative way which destroys culture, moral, and everything you value. On the other side, when you demand openness, candidness, and honesty over all else – crap gets done.
Conflict is something that we all need to stop fearing and start embracing because the sooner we do, the sooner we can change conflict into CANflict.