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Ivan Popov

i was once an athlete. then a journalist. now i am a ceo of an iT company. still running marathons though.

The Way You Deal With Conflicts Is Actually Crucial To Your Professional Development


When we think about professional development, we often name success, hard work, or profit – but what about our ability to deal with conflicts?

At the very beginning of my entrepreneurial career, I was entirely focused on those. I thought that professional development had to do solely with hard work, durability, networking, hustling, and all of those entrepreneurial-related activities that shape the CEO figure in charge of any business.

Make no mistake, all those are certainly incredibly important if you want to climb up the professional ladder. We shouldn’t miss doing our best to present our company in the best way possible. My point is just that sometimes we tend to forget about other important aspects of our professional development as well. One of those is definitely our ability to resolve conflicts and the approach we have when entering ones.

Conflicts are inevitable – in fact, avoiding them altogether could do more harm than good

When we hear “conflict”, we usually think of it as this negative situation that often occurs between people. Our mind is wired into aiming at avoiding conflicts at all costs all the time, but let’s take a slightly different approach this time – do we really need to avoid conflicts?

If you look up “conflict” in the dictionary, you’ll see that it’s explained as a “serious disagreement or argument”. Certainly, we connect those connotations with negative feelings and emotions. We are trained to believe that arguing with someone will perhaps drastically decrease our relationship. But what we often miss is that it mainly depends on how we handle the conflict in question.

Conflicts arise every day everywhere. It doesn’t matter if we are dealing with personal or professional issues – we need to understand that we cannot avoid arguments till the end of time. This would mean restraining ourselves from meaningful relationships with people. Plus, conflicts may have a cathartic effect on everyone involved. So before you are quick to scratch them out of the picture, try to think of them as an opportunity to grow further.

The way we handle conflicts can actually teach us a lot about people, relationships, issues, and ourselves

conflict resolution

The moment we stop fearing conflicts is actually the moment we begin acknowledging their many pros.

Don’t get me wrong – it’s not the conflict itself that elevates our people skills and both personal and professional development. It’s our approach to it.

If handled correctly, a conflict can actually resolve many issues and obstacles, while, at the same time, it can help us learn how to stand our ground and how to fight for what we believe is worth fighting for.

Let’s discuss some of the best conflicts pros and what we really can take out from them:

  • when a conflict arises, we have the chance to prove our point and defend our point of view – in entrepreneurship, for example, a pivotal skill is the ability to stay true to our beliefs and defend our opinion. In conflict, we have every chance to do so. Of course, the argument must be obtained in an honorable manner for each side. If we let the other speak, actively listening to what they have to say, we have the chance to rest our case and defend our opinions.
  • conflicts teach us to honor other people’s opinions – of course, being opinionated is not entirely a bad thing, but we must all beware. No one would want to turn into that guy who never listens and diminishes other people’s opinions. If we want to have a constructive conflict and argument with a high chance of taking us places, we need to learn how to listen and honor what the other participants have to say.
  • a conflict can generate ideas and fresh approaches to things – sometimes during an argument, it’s quite possible for us to come across some new ideas and approaches to certain situations that may be very beneficial in the long run. That’s why one should never underestimate the power of conflict – it could be a great ideas generator.
  • during an argument, you may learn to be far more accepting when it comes to opinions different from your own – consider hearing what the other person has to say and you’ll quickly learn that this actually requires for you to be open to different points of view.

In a nutshell

All those aspects of handling conflicts are actually pivotal when it comes to your professional development. In business, there are often times when we all have to stand our ground and learn as we make decisions. Don’t underestimate all those situations which actually can teach us a lot about ourselves, other people, and business as a whole.


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