What Wrestling Taught Me About Managing Conflict

manage conflict_women in leadershipDo you ever find yourself in disagreements, disputes, or downright arguments?

Of course, you have! People are not always going to agree, it’s part of life. A spouse, a co-worker, a child, or anyone you are in a relationship with has the potential to become the person you have an issue with. The question isn’t will you ever have an argument with it? the show will you handle? Knowing how to improve a situation and move forward in the face of conflict is a much-needed skill in every woman’s tool belt.

Growing up as the twin sister to a World Wrestling Federation obsessed brother gave me an acute awareness of fighting with boys. His favorite pastime was to demonstrate or practice the moves he saw on television with yours truly. Not knowing how to respond, I would simply swat him away and threaten to tell my father on him. His response? Stop fighting like a girl and learn how to win.?

Frank’s offhanded statement stuck with me. Throughout both my personal and professional life, I made it my mission to learn how to fight to win. Unfortunately, however, I have met countless professional women that are fighting like a girl and they aren’t winning.

So what’s a girl to do? Learn how to fight like a Brave New Woman. (Want to know more about being Brave New Woman? Click Here?)?? A woman that is driven by purpose, who thrives in clarity, harmony, and peace. Yet, she’s confident enough to be comfortable with healthy conflict without creating carnage and chaos in the process.

3 Ways To Resolve Conflict Like A Brave New Woman

1. Stay In The Present

Ladies we’ve all done it. In the midst of a conflict, we will bring up something from the past to prove our point. Even if what is brought up is relevant, rarely is it helpful. Because the moment a past offense or upset is introduced into the conversation, you immediately draw the other person into a negative defensive mode. Whether you’re in a board meeting or with a family member that drives you nuts, anything that was buried in the past needs to stay there.

2. Attack The Problem, Not The Person

Make sure that in any conflict, the issue stays at the forefront. A disagreement is not the time to point out the flaws, bad habits, or tendencies of someone else. Just stick to the facts, don’t blindside anyone with unfair accusations or worse still assumptions. It’s also not the time for you to become overly sensitive. Don’t allow your emotions to become offended. Whenever you become offended in a conflict, you rob yourself of the opportunity to learn and grow from the experience.

3. Find A Win/Win Solution To Your Conflict

I have found that knowing how to fight for a resolution is winning in the truest sense of the word. Because what’s the sense in feeling victorious when nothing about the situation or the relationship is going to change. If there is no benefit to the battle; no improvement to be had, don’t even enter the arena. You don’t want to waste your time; you want to wrestle through the issues with a determination to create a win/win, not a win/lose scenario.

Good healthy conflict can be beneficial for flushing out issues, finding solutions, producing better outcomes, and creating deeper relationships. It can be done when you keep an open mind and a closed mouth. By being intentional about not just hearing but actively listening. And then respond like you want a resolution.

Are you currently struggling with a co-worker, a boss, or a family member? What are you doing to fight like a Brave New Woman? What does winning this conflict look like to you? Please answer these questions in the comment section below. I’d love to know your thoughts.