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Article -> Unique Approach to Resolving Conflict

Date Added: January 2018

History has demonstrated varying perspectives on handling conflict. Some seek to fight, battle or wage war. Others avoid, negotiate or walk away. Others opt for specific battles, or pick and choose.

As a world, we have proven the ability to create weapons of mass destruction and annihilation -- able to destroy everyone and everything. Many have worked with individuals who are dictators, ruining corporate cultures and careers. Handling conflict has consequences.

If we seek to fight or wage war; we may win, but at what expense? We risk destroying nations, careers, relationships, and lives. While this does not sound positive, there may be times and circumstances where we resolutely believe in our cause, so it is the only rationale way to handle things.

If we avoid, walk away or negotiate; it appears we lose. Others get their way, or a negotiation may result in lose-lose with neither party being happy. This also is not positive, yet there may be instances of turning the other cheek and returning to fight another day.

If we pick specific battles, are we only choosing those we know we can win or those which benefit us? Are we proactively seeking a greater good and win-win solutions? Is it enough to only consider yourself, your department, your organization, your nation?

The solution I offer is not easy or simple. It may be the most difficult item we are asked to do -- especially when in conflict with others. It is to love. The common reaction is love has no place in business, negotiations or conflict; however, it may be the exact answer we need for ourselves, our teams, our organization, our nation.

Loving our spouse and family is easy. We can even say that loving those we like is doable. But loving those we are in conflict with? This is when we need to love the most. Responding with love to those we are in conflict with. Those who hate you and you may feel the same in return. Love them.

Generally, there is some good in everyone (although I can think of some current and historical individuals which question this premise). On the concept of loving others, author Clarence Jordan wrote, This concept enables men to live together not as nations, but as the human race.

He further wrote, But, somehow or other, we shrink with horror from the prospect not of annihilation, but of reconciliation. We will either be reconciled -- we shall love one another -- or we shall perish.

While a bit scary and doomsdayish, re-read this statement and allow it to sink in. When facing conflict, we battle or wage war (annihilation), or walk away or avoid (fear). We do not openly embrace (love), even though we know that when we are loved by others we feel better, calmer and certainly more willing and able to exchange in friendly dialogue (i.e. resolve conflict).

Many of the greatest leaders of our time led with the philosophy of love. Martin Luther King, Jr. Gandhi. Saint Teresa of Calcutta. Mohammed. Abraham Lincoln. Jesus Christ. The list goes on. The Beatles even wrote a song about it (All You Need is Love).

If loving others was good enough for the greatest world leaders of our time, why is it not good enough to solve our daily conflicts at work, home, and in our local and global communities?

Love takes humility. It takes overcoming fear. It takes a different approach. It takes courage. Yet, history proves it is worth it -- and love always wins.

David Yeghiaian is committed to inspiring others through faith and leadership. Reach him at
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