One of the common questions I get as I lead workshops and work with my coaching clients is:
How do I decide if a conflict is worth the effort to resolve?
I think this is a great question. Honestly, resolving a conflict can take lots of emotional energy. While I think it is generally a good idea to work with other people to productively resolve conflicts, I recognize that you do not need to invest this energy to resolve every conflict you might experience. Here are a few times when you might decide to avoid the conflict rather than work to resolve it.
- When you do not care about the long-term health of your relationship with the other person.
- When you have little concern about the outcome of the situation.
- If you are concerned that the other person will resort to physical violence if you engage in a resolution conversation with them.
I'm still thinking through other situations when it might be reasonable to avoid the conflict rather than resolve it, and I think this represents a pretty good short-list of considerations when you make the decision.
As I said, in general I suggest that conflict resolution is worth the effort even though some situations might lead you in a different direction.
I would love to see your thoughts on this topic in the comments section.