Changing the Default View of Family Conflict


There’s a lot of truth in the phrase: 

“If two people agree on everything, one of them is not necessary.”

Difference adds new perspectives – it’s the power of two! At the same time, difference also means debates, arguments and, yes, conflict. 

The default view of conflict is that it’s “bad” and destructive. However, when we take a step back, we can see that some conflicts are necessary for the process of growth. If people want bigger muscles, it’s no good just sitting comfortably in a gym, they need to get into ‘conflict’ with the machines and weights. The resistance that they encounter is what makes them stronger!  


Given this, how about re-wiring our brain so that when we encounter conflict related to family business, it prompts constructive responses rather than avoidance/aggression or flight/fight?  

Such constructive responses could include actively listening to each other’s perspective, getting a better understanding of the shared reality, and co-creating best case scenarios. These types of responses are suggested in “NonflictThe Art of Everyday Peacemaking” by Hecht and Kfir  

The results can be very powerful: 

  1. Better outcomes – because conflicts may identify things we hadn’t thought about or had missed 
  2. Better relationships – because family members and team members develop trust in our desire to listen as well as talk.  
  3. More maturity as people – because every time we resist fight/flight responses to conflicts we re-train our brains  

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