Conflict: Not Necessarily a Bad Thing


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I got yelled at tonight. Not the type of yelling that someone does when you’ve done something to tick someone off, but the kind of yelling that was a swift kick in the pants about something that I'm NOT doing.

I probably deserved it. I needed to hear it. But it made me edgy and I tried to make excuses.

Nope! That didn’t work. I continued to get the lecture.

Now I know you are all dying to know what I did that wasn’t exactly right. Mary? Got yelled at? How DARE they?

Here’s what happened. Tonight my husband and I met out a friend from swimming and a woman I set him up with on a blind date. Lets call him Bill. If you read the entry that he dances to his own tune, then you’ve met Bill.

In my book, he’s a consistent and dedicated swimmer. The lecture was about the fact that: I’M NOT.

I miss practice. I get there a tad late. And, I miss practice.

I told him I HAVE A LIFE. I have a child! I need my sleep!

He reminded me that I have a goal. I want to make nationals. I want to lower my time. I’m pretty close to doing it too.

So, here I am at 3 in the morning writing about the fact that I got yelled at. And I think it worked. I know he’s right and I’m going to change my schedule around a bit so I can make the practices more often. I was going to about 3 a week instead of 4.

Earlier this week I dropped a note to friend who is an entrepreneur. He and his partner had a yelling match on the phone. I know them both well and they’re both working hard at building their business. They had a disagreement and I tried to help smooth over the conflict.

I got this email from my friend that I liked:

Mary: Thank you for your insight…. Every tree that yields fruit must be shaken to get the best from the top.

So, I thought about it for a while and realized that the conflict did shake things up. It got them both out of their comfort zone. It made them think about what really was the answer to their problem. Because they didn’t dance around the problem and play nice they were able to solve the issues more quickly.

I’m always the type that wants to avoid conflict. I think that a lot of people are like me. Its easier to talk things out than yell and get to the bottom line. But I see how that works.

Now I’m not proposing that anyone else should go out and confront anyone just to be able to yell at someone, but I do think that honest confronting can be exactly the thing to make someone step up to the plate, take ownership and pull their weight or change some sort of negative behavior. It’s sometimes quicker than having discussion after discussion. It’s certainly more memorable. And sometimes, it can get you up at 3 in the morning to blog about it!

But lets just SEE if it'll get me out of bed for 5:30am swim practice more times a week! I'm betting on YES.

Mary Gardner, The Charisma Coach! is an Executive Communications Consultant and Trainer. She works with, coaches and trains individuals, sales teams, executives, and celebrities. She owned and operated one of the first coaching institutions on the east coast, CCI, in NYC, Philly and NJ. Mary has appeared on ABC’s 20/20 and has self published a book on public speaking. Mary is married to Sway and is mommy to Jeremy 5, and lives in Orlando, FL.


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