When you communicate with your team, family, or friends, you will eventually have conflict. You’ll have your opinion or goals, and they’ll have theirs. It’s easy to get into a verbal altercation and say something you’ll regret. The good thing is you have different ways to communicate when you find yourself in this situation.
- Discussion: The goal is to listen to each other. You must hear the other person out. What is your objective, and what is theirs? Can you work together to help out one another?
- Argument: Each person wants to win. Neither individual is listening to understand. You listen to respond, which isn’t listening at all.
- Fight: Avoid this at all costs as it will strain and potentially ruin a relationship. The goal here is to destroy. You don’t want that person to think the way they think ever again.
From my personal experience, discussion leads to productivity and civility. Teams thrive when they have discussions. Arguments aren’t productive. No one listens because everyone wants to get their point across. Conversations become overly emotional and unproductive and often lead to fights. Nothing good comes from trying to destroy your teammates.
I want to give a shoutout to Dominic Syracuse. Dominic is a comedian, actor, teacher, and business owner who owns a business called Cognitive Behavioral Theater. I’ve been aware of these principles for most of my professional career, however I’ve never sat down and really thought about how we communicate during conflict until I attended his seminar. His seminar is where I really began to understand discussions, arguments, fights and the emotional process we go through during each. If you have time, please check out his bio and webpage (hyperlinked above).