In his book The Five Dysfunctions of a Team Patrick Lencioni identifies conflict as being essential to great team work. The problem is many of us see conflict as a bad thing, but when we’ve proven we can trust each other, conflict is something that helps us build each other up.
Instead of conflict being about tearing each other down, we need to see how conflict sharpens us. When someone disagrees with one of your ideas or plans, remember they are not saying they don’t like you. Instead they see a short coming in your plan or a flaw in your idea. More often than not, they’re wanting what’s best, just like you are.
If you are slow to engage in conflict, choose to trust. Trust that the person will receive the critique with a teachable spirit.
If you are on the receiving end of conflict, choose to trust. Trust that the person you are in relationship with is working for your good.
The Hebrew Proverb captures this best:
As iron sharpens iron,
so a friend sharpens a friend. (Proverbs 27:17)