What is conflict?
On a campus with more than 30,000 people, we encounter different perspectives, behaviors and beliefs with everyone we meet. Sometimes disagreements can happen as we get to know others—it might be with a roommate, friend, classmates or even a professor.
Most people think conflict is a negative thing, but healthy conflict can result in growth, learning and understanding. It all depends on how you approach it.
Conflict is normal, natural and critical to the development of a community. While conflict can be challenging and uncomfortable, there are ways to have difficult conversations and develop skills to serve you at CU Boulder and beyond.
Here are some things you can do that lead to a healthy, positive experience when encountering conflict:
- In a conversation, allow the other person to share their point of view without interrupting.
- Listen as the other person shares their point of view, instead of forming your response to what they are saying in your head.
- What you mean to say is not always what the other person hears—think about the intent and impact of your message.
- When sharing your point of view, speak from your perspective. Try to see things from the other side rather than make assumptions.
- When agreement is not possible, allow for multiple truths.