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Value of Conflict

What's your first thought when you hear "conflict"? Anger? Disagreement? Frustration? What about challenge, closeness and growth?

I'm Mark Gorkin, the "Stress Doc," with today's "Stress Brake": "At the Provocative Edge of Desire and Danger or Come Out of the Conflict Closet." I'll be back in a moment.

Conflict! It's a high octane energy source that fuels purpose, passion and the sharing of power. Yet, it's a volatile mix that ignites the invasion of someone's space, blows up hope for saving face, and burns people who forget their place.

Just what is interpersonal conflict? It's the friction that builds when two or more people clash over facts, short-term goals, enduring values and the status of their relationship. It's also the struggle over resources and methods for defining and achieving these contested facts, goals, values and status positions.

Actually, if you're spinning wheels you may uncover the hidden fortune in conflict:

"S" stands for status quo. With conflict you cannot do business as usual.

"U"" is for the underlying feelings that finally come out with a good fight.

"C" means clarification. Constructive conflict compels people to be clear and to take a stand.

"C" stimulates creative synthesis. Opposition may not equal obstruction; it can turn on an expanded and integrated solution.

"E" allows for empathy. You finally understand and feel where your partner in conflict is coming from.

"S" is spontaneity. Healthy conflict propels us to risk a range of emotions, especially anger. And finally,

"S" signifies the strengthened relationship that is the outcome of this challenging process.

S-U-C-C-E-S-S. By harnessing the energy in conflict, you've discovered a secret for success!