Tension is created when we encounter different cultures or points of view. Arguments ensue when we hold onto one side or the other. The tension continues to build until something gives. Is this process necessary? What about using that energy to ask questions and seek understanding of the other perspective?
When I’ve found myself in the middle of person-to-person or person-to-organization tension, seeking understanding and asking questions takes less energy and is ultimately less stressful. When there’s an understanding of both sides of the argument, we can help each other to come to an equitable solution where both sides get something they expected. Certainly concessions or compromise may be necessary but the process of working through the tension is much more effective and efficient. This stands in opposition to our cultural mind-set of win, win, win and seeking superiority. To recognize tension for what it is prior to escalation is a key along with letting go the need to be superior or correct. If we can let go of our need to be correct and superior, we enable ourselves to resolve conflict more readily. We empower ourselves to deal with what’s unfolding in our environment. We leverage not only our own strengths but those we encounter in our daily affairs. And, it all starts by asking questions instead of standing firm in our supposed righteousness.