Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night worried about money problems, deadlines, or anything else related to your business? It’s almost as if you floated in the ocean on top of a mattress. Or, have you found that, instead of enjoying dinner, you are lost in your thoughts, in a non-stop analysis of your project or business? As if something that began as a fun adventure, now has become an avalanche of problems and situations that do not stop.
I’m not saying that you want to drop everything and take off, (although we know that sometimes that thought surrounds our mind), but discouragement knocks at our door and often blocks us. The truth is that conflicts are part of life and for some people they are often even daily. In and out of business, in personal and social life, no matter what we do, at some point the conflict finds how to stand in front of us and confront us. It’s as if we deciphered a problem and two more steps forward we came across a worse one.
I do not think I’m the only one, has it happened to you? So, after looking at it and realizing that this is not like at school that I would: learn something, got an A on the exam, and then I would never see it again in my life (as maybe algebra for many people, lol); I decided to identify what things I could do to face the conflict and surpass it. I share with you my find…
- I decided to be resilient and to learn even if it is one thing from any conflict I face. It really is a decision. If we think about it, and even more in business, it is one conflict after another and if we do not start learning from them, we will end up stumbling over the same stone again and again… even in the 5th round.
- Do not avoid them. Avoiding or postponing conflicts only leads to accumulation; and although at the moment it seems that everything is solved, later we fall on us like an avalanche. We must face each one at his moment and with courage. Conversations, disagreements, no matter what … we never let them accumulate.
- Listen. Many of our issues can resolve themselves by simply saying nothing and listening to the other party. It seems that in business this would not happen, but how many misunderstandings are among people who ultimately want to achieve the same! There are conflicts that look like giant monsters and behind them there are people who just want to be heard.
- Collaboration. This goes hand in hand with the previous point. Big problems occur when everyone tries to pull to their side, thinking that their idea or form is better. And we forget that when we collaborate, we put thoughts together to make an even bigger one. And that way, we excel. Is not that what we are looking for when we start a project or a business? This is one of those conflicts that can often emerge, especially when we have business partners. We can talk more about this in a future post.
- Keep a clear mind. There are so many things that we make worse by reacting or acting without thinking. Taking a few minutes a day to cleanse our mind and refocus on the present and the important, would help us a lot when confronting problems or people. To do this, we need to give us time to separate ourselves from the hustle and bustle of business, commitments, meetings, and so on, and open ourselves to a moment of mental and spiritual tranquility. Believe me, it makes a world of difference to return to work with a clear and rested mind.
These are just a few examples to handle the conflicts that afflict us. I invite you to, if you haven’t yet, try them. Remember that you are not alone, there is a whole community of women entrepreneurs in your same position or who were there and manage to excel … and continue.
Charlene currently holds a BA in Social Sciences in Psychology from the UPRRP and an MA in Counseling Psychology from the Universidad Interamericana de Puerto Rico.