6 Reasons Why “Conflicted” is Good for Your Life and Organization

If you want to do great things in life, being conflicted is good.

My last blog post and the one before it had a lot of generous people asking to help me because I seem conflicted.  It’s true that I’m conflicted sometimes, but here are six reasons why that’s a good thing.

1)  Conflicted means you don’t trust yourself

If you’re internally conflicted, it means you’ve realized you’re not always right.  That’s smart.  I’ve made many mistakes and the day I stop watching myself with a leery eye is the day I accept failure.  Anyone who trusts themselves completely is on their way to disaster.

Whether it’s personally or as a team, it’s important to regularly question your practices, ideas, and policies in a changing world.  The day you stop questioning is the day you fall behind.

2)  Conflicted people are moving.

By nature, a “conflicted” person is in a state of unrest and is more likely to be moving. Somewhere.  Once you stop, it’s hard to start again (inertia) and so successful people learn to keep moving.

3)  Peace is not always a good thing

Peace in an organization is not great for advancement.  In peace, there is groupthink, complacency, and a lack of creativity.  People ask, “Why change a good thing?”

Change is good.

Observe the accomplishments and discoveries that happen when governments or companies are conflicted internally or externally.  Look at the discoveries that NASA made while racing the USSR to space.  Look at the technologies developed while defending our country in World War II.  In conflict, people are forced to be at their best.  It pushes us further.

The same goes for individuals.

4)  Conflicted means you’re learning

Conflicted people or organizations are usually hunting for a resolution.  The act of searching for answers keeps us learning, sharp and educated along the way.

5)  Conflicted is good communication

The world is full of conflicts on the inside and outside.  If you seem conflicted to outsiders, you are doing a good job of communicating reality.  Various studies and my own research show we’re in an age of increased transparency and people prefer to work with people, leaders, and companies that are transparent, vulnerable, and humanized.  If you seem conflicted, you also seem more real, approachable, and trustworthy as long as you keep your emotions in check.

6)  Conflicted means you don’t settle for your first impulse

I think people should change their minds.  Even though your first choice might be right currently, it  may not be correct in 5 days or 5 years.  Settling isn’t a good thing.

 

I realize that this may seem ludicrous to some (peace is bad, conflict is good business, etc.), so I’d love to hear everyone’s thoughts on the issue.  Good or bad, let’s have a discussion about this topic.

Have a great night,

Aaron@Biebert

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Published by Aaron Biebert

I'm a director, film/video exec producer, leader & 8pm Warrior. I am passionately chasing my goals at all times. I'm listening. Let's talk!

29 comments on “6 Reasons Why “Conflicted” is Good for Your Life and Organization”

  1. Confrontation. Nobody likes it. It’s uncomfortable to say the least. Sometimes, it’s ugly.

    Confrontation need not be violent. It need not be brutal and unkind. But it cannot be avoided. Nor should it be postponed.

    Avoiding confrontation is avoiding one or more problems. That can cost lives, dreams, way of life, money, etc.

    Problems do not go away by themselves – unless we’re talking about divine intervention. And even divine intervention doesn’t seem to solve everything. Because there always remains the unsolved problem in us- the problem that we couldn’t embrace our own responsibility for a gentle, elegant, or beautiful solution.

    What do you think?

    This is a great conversation starter, Aaron. Bring people in on this (tweet out the call) and let’s share some beautiful questions and insights.

  2. Aaron,
    I’m ALWAYS conflicted. I’m human and I want to be challenged. And I feel peaceful because I’ve accepted that there is nothing wrong with feeling conflicted. I use it as a tool. Does that make sense? I think there is a danger when we assume it’s a contest between conflict and peace. Sort of like a car in a driveway. It may be at rest, but it’s completely useless. Makes sense in my head! HAHA! One of those days when thoughts and words CONFLICT!
    Thanks.
    Betsy

  3. Love this! So true! I see so much of myself in this post! You’re absolutely correct here. “Conflicted” most certainly means you’re still thinking & learning–firing on all cylinders. When one stops either of those things, one stagnates. Trapped in a rut & the dangerous quagmire that doesn’t allow for further personal growth.

  4. Peace is another way of saying ‘stasis.’ A static organization is not only failing to move, but also falling behind. Organizations need to compete – if not with outside competitors, then internal ones.

    The same goes for individuals. We need to compete with others, or at the very least with ourselves. Learn something new everyday, no matter how insignificant it may appear. Anything that stays with you may be useful sooner or later, but I’d say the best way to learn that little something is to pick an intellectual framework/thematic area and pursue it everyday. Obsession pays. Passion pays. Specialization pays. You learn more, and it makes you happier.

      1. Yes, obsession pays. The healthy, constructive kind.

        The designer that wants things aligned to the last pixel, the chef that obsesses over the perfect way to dice her onions, the guitarist that practices over nine hours a day — these are the people who’ve stopped competing with others to compete with themselves. We owe them a lot. We owe them everything. They’re the ones who push the envelope, who expand the boundaries of knowledge.

        That’s what I mean by “obsession pays.”

  5. Conflicted…Aaron…you make some very interesting observations, many of which I would be inclined to agree with whole heartedly. It has been said to me in the past that I ” Love the drama”. I disagree..I love momentum. Anything that is not in a state of change, flux, or movement… is surely dead. I’m raising a glass with you to being conflicted…the glass that is half full…not half empty. Glad to have discovered your place Justin..its a cool spot!¬

    1. I love momentum too Stacey and I think you hit the nail on the head. Movement is key and it causes friction.

      Keep on moving! :-)

      (love the Justin reference, I’m surprised no one else did that again on accident)

  6. I agree, but I would actually take this a step further. My whole life philosophy is that ambivalence (in the sense that you are both attracted and repelled by pretty much everything — i.e., conflicted, but I like ambivalent better) is the state of nature for humans. Folks foolishly seek ideological purity or pure values, but the truth is we’ll always be ambivalent about just about everything.

    The answer isn’t eliminating ones internal conflicts. The answer is discerning why you are attracted and repelled by different ideas, courses of action, products, etc, and then making a decision knowing just which of your values you are indulging and which you are sublimating.

  7. Your thoughts reminded me of this quote by unknown author –
    “Peace. it does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. it means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.”

  8. Excellent points! Being conflicted certainly means that you are learning and questioning your approaches. This seems important so that we don’t fall into the “this is the way we’ve always done it” trap. Change and reflection should be daily parts of our lives. This often may mean being conflicted, but that isn’t necessarily bad. Good thoughts!

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