The Magic of Emotional Intelligence - Part 9
EQ & Conflict

©Arlene R. Taylor, PhD

ARTConflict—that is, discord between two or more entities—is expensive. Conflicts can range from minor differences of opinion to contentious, cataclysmic disputes that include mob action or wars. It can include generational conflict as families pass down vendettas from one generation to the next.

In the home, conflict contributes to stress, unhappiness, illness, addictions, divorce, violence, and even murder. In schools and churches, conflict burns out personnel, triggers arguments and misunderstandings, and can also escalate into violence and bloodshed. In the workplace, conflict increases stress, drains personnel, contributes to higher rates of absenteeism and workers comp claims that trims profits from the bottom line. As of 2021, estimates are that managers spend at least 25 percent of their time resolving workplace conflicts—one of the biggest challenges companies, managers, and employees face.

Estimates are that 70 percent of contributors to conflict involves your own past experiences and the resulting impact on your response in the present moment. Conflict typically reflects low levels of Emotional Intelligence (EQ). High EQ skills help you realize that you are under no obligation to accept an invitation to an argument. That, in itself, can help to minimize—if not avoid—situations of conflict. EQ skills help you decide when to walk away from a situation because the likelihood of resolving the conflict is slim to none.

High EQ allows you to share your brain’s opinion as honestly and graciously as possible and then remain healthfully indifferent to whether your opinion or recommendation is taken. After all, the opinions of others are none of your business. This helps you evade badgering others to embrace your perspective and burning bridges that may not be reparable.

Of all the problems people experience, about 50 percent are of their own making, based on their thoughts and choices. Imagine dumping at least half of all your problems off the back of your lifetime-pickup truck!

Overall, EQ skills can help you avoid making serious and sometimes permanent life-impactful decisions based on temporary emotions and feelings.  

To live out your days in conflict is expensive. Countering discord with high EQ skills is worth its weight in gold.