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different viewpointsAt home or work conflict drains my energy and I want to have less of that energy drain.

Conflicts usually occur because someone holds a different point of view to me and we both think that our viewpoint is right and the other one is wrong.

Sometimes having different viewpoints can be productive. Perhaps both parties are willing to discuss the ideas and maybe even come up with a new and better idea. But conflicts that are left unresolved are usually nonproductive and often destructive. Those are the conflicts that sap energy, rarely move us forward and usually distract us from the real progress that needs to be made.

What if instead of reacting and getting enraged or upset we learnt to live with multiple viewpoints. Sometimes having different points of view is OK and makes for more diversity. Think of the HSBC ad campaign that illustrated in a fun way the multiple perspectives on many subjects.

Take a look at your day. How often do you use the words “right” and “wrong” to describe your own or another’s actions or a situation? Is something really “right” or “wrong” or is it just different to your behavior or idea?

If we sorted through our conflicts and determined which ones we can tolerate we could put more energy to resolve the destructive ones and not bury our heads in the sand.

I have a memory of cooking a meal with my room-mates at university. Everything went well until it came to making the gravy.   We could not agree. Our mothers all made gravy a different way and we each thought that was the right way. We used a lot of energy arguing the alternate ways and really none of us knew the best way.

What do you do to get involved in fewer conflicts?

Teaching someone to be flexible in viewpoints, and to reason from different angles, is better than indoctrinating them with a fixed viewpoint. Teaching someone to be flexible in viewpoints involves more work and patience, but in the end you will have a tolerant, compassionate being who reasons well”.  Harry Palmer, Author of the Avatar Materials