10 Quotes To Shift Your Thinking About Conflict

By increasing self-awareness during conflict situations, we can curb destructive behaviors and improve workplace relationships ... and results.

Here are ten quotes to help you begin to shift your thinking about conflict.

1. “Contrary to popular wisdom and behaviour, conflict is not a bad thing for a team. In fact, the fear of conflict is almost always a sign of problems.”  Patrick Lencioni

2. “If you avoid conflict to keep the peace, you start a war inside yourself.”  Cheryl Richardson

3. “Peace is not the absence of conflict but the ability to cope with it.”  Ghandi

4. “Leaders do not avoid, repress, or deny conflict, but rather see it as an opportunity.” Warren Bennis

5. “The quality of our lives depends not on whether or not we have conflicts, but on how we respond to them.”  Thomas Crum

6. “I try to take every conflict, every experience, and learn from it.  Life is never dull.”  Oprah Winfrey

7. “Difficulties mastered are opportunities won."  Winston Churchill

8. “The successful person has unusual skill at dealing with conflict and ensuring the best outcome for all.” Sun Tzu

9. “Most people to not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.”  Stephen R. Covey

10. “The hunger for love is much more difficult to remove than the hunger for bread.” Mother Teresa  (Tip: re-read this quote as “The hunger to be understood” as it is an important way of demonstrating love.)

Your leadership Challenge:  Take a few minutes and reflect on these two questions:

How do these quotes challenge your current thinking about conflict?

How would your ability to lead improve if you were willing and able to productively engage in conflict?

Lisa Holden Rovers, MSc, CPHR, PCC, is the Founder of Workplace Matters. Since 2005, Lisa has been coaching entrepreneurs and executives to grow as leaders and spark team cultures that thrive. She’s an award-winning human resources professional and a certified leadership and team coach who is passionate about helping people step into what is possible.  

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