Are You in A Value Conflict?

By Joyce Odidison

Jun 25

Are You Experiencing A Conflict In Your Personal Life or Workplace?

Value conflicts occur when what's happening is in violation of a value you hold.

Value conflicts tend to make us take a positional stance. We often feel that compromising or negotiating would be a violation of our very identity. We are after all defending our values. 

This often makes conflict resolution more difficult to attain as it is not about the issues instead we feel that our personal values being trivialized.

We commonly see clients at Interpersonal Wellness Services Inc. who are experiencing value conflict. This is why I came up with some questions to help you assess whether or not you are facing a value conflict so you can quickly reflect on your position.

One of the easiest way to move yourself from a positional value based conflict is to do some deep reflections on your stance. Ask yourself these questions:

1. I wonder what values the other person holds that is being challenged in this situation?

2.  Are your values more important than the other person’s values?

3. Could they be feeling just as strongly about their values as you do?

4. Is it fair to ask them to take a stance that is against their values?

5. Could there be a better time to share your value perspective with them when they are less upset or defensive?

People often want others to see the world the way they do. Meaning we want others to adopt values that are similar to ours. 

Interpersonal Skills - Interpersonal Wellness - Value Conflict

However, in a very diverse world, this is not possible, nor is there a guarantee that someone else’s values will be embraced by you initially. We adopt values over time, based on our life experiences and beliefs. 

Value conflicts occur when someone makes choices that are guided by their values, and someone else thinks their choice goes against their own values. 

Your feelings that they made a wrong choice is based on your set of values and beliefs, thus you are making a value judgement that can result in an interpersonal conflict.

Because the other person holds certain values, they view their choice as correct and proper. It is often difficult for them to see your argument or understand your judgement of their choice as wrong because you are both viewing the situation from different value lenses.

It is important that when we view another person's actions we recognize that they are based on strongly held values, that very well may be different or opposite to ours. The crux of a value conflict is when we hold fast to our position that the other person's choice is incorrect and demand that they adopt our value lens rather than theirs.

There is no doubt that conflict is a catalyst for change. When we encounter disconfirming information, it is important that we step back and ask the question - What should I be learning from this and how can I grow from this experience. 

Remember, you will encounter many value conflicts in life because of our many diverse perspectives in the workplace and society. It's important to remember to choose your battles. Not all battles are worth fighting. It may be just as good to let others have their own perspective if it doesn't cause others harm.

Do you need help maneuvering a value conflict? Get in touch, I would be happy to have a conversation. Join me in Mastery. My weekly coaching session where I coach on developing the wellness competencies that foster relational well-being in work and life.. Click to Join Mastery.

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About the Author

Joyce Odidison, MA, PCC, CTDP is a Thought Leader on Interpersonal Wellness and Competency Mindset Teaching. She is a Conflict Analyst, Coach, and corporate speaker/trainer on interpersonal, respect and diversity for 24 years. Joyce helps organizations protect the emotional, interpersonal, and mental well-being of employees and leaders from conflict, stress, and burnout, to preserve their reputation, promote diversity, inclusion, and psychological safety at work. She is a frequent TV guest expert offering relational well-being tips for leaders and employees. Joyce has been featured in the Winnipeg Free Press, Canadian Living, Corporate Wellness Magazine, Thrive Global, Fast Company, and others.She can be reached at admin@interpersonalwellness.com or by phone at 1-877-999-9591.

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