Sticking it Out
Sticking it out.
Whatever happened to this concept? Especially when it comes to interpersonal conflicts with each other. Anytime you work with people there is going to be interpersonal conflict. It doesn’t matter how great the people are, how great the culture is, How incredible the benefits are, or how great the work is that you are doing. Because people are involved, there will always be conflict. There will always be conflict due to the fact we all have different personality types. This is why some people get along better with certain individuals. They have similar personalities and see eye to eye on more issues than someone with a completely different personality type. There are dozens of personality tests out on the market and they will tell you the same end results. Here’s your personality type and here’s how you get along or don’t get along with others.
Personality tests help, but if you don’t do the work in overcoming the conflict that will inevitably ensue in your interactions, then it doesn’t matter how well you understand yourself. The real magic happens when you begin to understand others and do the work in resolving conflict and learning to compromise. When we do this, everyone wins. Sadly, many do not want to do the hard work involved in this process. Why? Because it’s just that, HARD. In my interactions with people, I mainly see complicity in three types of responses.
#1. Ignore it altogether. This never works. Eventually, you get tired of trying to ignore it and the second option comes into play.
#2. Run away. This solves nothing because you will be running the rest of your life as conflict will be everywhere you go.
#3. Attack the one who is causing the conflict. This only ever stirs up more strife and more retaliation.
Sadly, these typical responses never bring satisfaction and resolve because nothing changes. These responses only perpetuate the problem and exacerbate the issue. Conflict is not bad IF we allow it to work for everyone’s good.
When I was younger I only ever ran from difficult situations or problems. It wasn’t until I learned to stand right where I am and not run from struggle or conflict that I began to grow and build an overcoming mentality. I used to work at a juvenile delinquent facility in the Appalachian mountains that was a rehabilitation program using the outdoors. It was a program designed to purposefully put hardened and adjudicated youth through conflict in order to bring out their issues and force them to deal with their problems as they would break down. If you weren’t being attacked (physically and emotionally) by the students, you would become exhausted by the physical labor projects with the teens. If the physical labor didn’t wear you out, the time separated from your family did. We had to live at the facility seven days out of every two weeks. If the separation from society didn’t break you down, living with the difficult personalities of each staff member would get to you fast! Many of these guys came from hard backgrounds themselves. In fact, this job attracted many ex-military and retired special ops. If the peer personalities didn’t frustrate you, the constant threat of physical attacks would keep you on edge. We had to learn how to defend ourselves without hurting the kids. It was called “Non-violent crisis protection intervention.”
This was NOT an easy job. Every day I woke up I wanted to quit. For the first time in my life, I did not run from the struggle.
For three and a half years I stuck it out in this program with these kids. To be honest, I would never want to go back because of the immense psychological pressure I felt. However, this period was also the most rewarding and growing time of my entire life. I was forced to learn how to help the most down and out of our society that didn’t want help and in turn, I found myself being helped just as much! I discovered what it means to not ignore difficult people, not to discard them, and to not fight back but learn how to work with and love them in spite of our many differences.
If you learn to persevere in the midst of interpersonal conflict, the reward is great. You also learn that not only do you help the other person involved, but you are the one who gains the biggest transformation of growth spiritually and in character.
Avoidance doesn’t solve anything. Running can no longer be an option. Name-calling and shaming others into submission only pours gasoline on the fire. Sticking it out is our only resolution. It may not be pretty at first, and it definitely won’t feel good at the moment, but the end result is always worth it!
About the Author
David Grimm and his wife, Kelly, own Chick-fil-A on University Avenue in West Des Moines, Iowa. David and Kelly have been in the restaurant business since 2011. They opened Chick-fil-A in 2015 and have grown the University Avenue location by more than 250% since they started. David is incredibly proud of his top-notch team, quality products, and most of all, the remarkable guest experience his team provides on a daily basis. Since 2015, his location has donated roughly $1 million to the community and team through food donations, support, and education assistance. David and Kelly love being able to live out their faith through their words and deeds every day. They have four children and live in West Des Moines, Iowa.