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Disagreements, Conflicts and Confrontations

Make sure that you immediately adopt the perspective of a strong leader—the alpha male—when challenged by disagreements, conflicts or confrontations. Then hold on to that mind-set and take action steps every chance you get.

Disagreements, conflicts and confrontations with other people will inevitably happen from time to time. The quality of your life will be determined by what you choose to do—and what you choose not to do—when you are challenged. What do you usually do? Do you stand up or step aside? Do you state your position with poise and confidence, or do you rationalize why it’s better just to go with the flow?

How you handle disagreements, conflicts and confrontations will depend on what you believe about them. Many of your beliefs about how to handle conflict may have been formed when you were taught to be a good little boy, not start any trouble, and make sure that everyone likes you. Now is the time to reevaluate your current way of thinking when it comes to resolving conflict with other people.

The alpha male understands that disagreements, conflicts and confrontations are inevitable in the competitive world he lives in. The alpha male doesn’t view every single conflict as negative. He understands that conflict is often a necessary step toward getting to the very best solution for both parties. He is mentally and emotionally prepared for conflict. The alpha male welcomes the opportunity to resolve conflict with other people effectively when it occurs.

Have you heard the expression, “It’s not personal; it’s business”? Well, that’s exactly how the alpha male views the occasional conflicts that occur in his life. “It’s not personal; it’s just what naturally happens sometimes when people interact.” One person isn’t necessarily wrong but just views the situation differently. Someone has to take a leadership role and determine the direction both parties follow.

Compare the alpha male’s perspective to that of less dominant men and beta males: To the latter, conflict avoidance is their primary objective, whether or not they’re conscious of it. They even rationalize that they are the “better man” when they successfully avoid confrontation.

I can understand how avoiding conflict can serve you well in the short term, but is it serving you well in the long term too? Is it helping you get what you really want in life? Or is it preventing you from getting what you ultimately want?

Conflict resolution doesn’t mean conflict avoidance. If you believe conflict avoidance is an effective strategy for getting what you want in life, you must understand that you’re not necessarily a “better” person just because you can successfully avoid those challenging situations. If fact, you’re probably selling yourself short with other people by doing so.

Disagreements, conflicts and confrontations are often important parts of the negotiation process between people that will eventually lead to agreements that can satisfy both parties. Of course, it may appear that you are getting along well with people when you avoid conflict.

If you spend a lot of time and energy avoiding conflict like the “good little boy” you were taught to be and have only gotten in, say, five conflicts in the past couple of years, what’s going to happen when you’re forced to deal with someone who may have gotten into five conflicts before lunch today. When you go head-to-head with that person, really, who do you think is going to be more skilled, poised, confident and comfortable?

The alpha male is extremely confident and comfortable in the midst of conflict, stepping up to the challenge every time he must. If he thinks that he must stand up for himself and his position—then he does it. He conditions himself to never back down during those challenging times—even if he’s uncomfortable. The alpha male practices and exercises that mind-set until it is firmly integrated into his personality. The alpha male practices and exercises taking action until it becomes automatic. If you practice anything long enough, how can you not eventually become great at it?

I certainly understand how getting into occasional disagreements, conflicts and confrontations can be uncomfortable. Isn’t it better to put yourself through the discomfort now and work on getting better at handling conflict? Wouldn’t it be better to go through the discomfort now than having it linger for years?

In life, you get what you focus on. You can improve on anything you do with enough focus. Conflict resolution is no exception. Read books on the subject. Constantly evaluate your interactions with other people. Evaluate other people’s interactions. Fall in love with the process.

What if you were to dedicate yourself to becoming a master at conflict resolution over the next year? You’d have those skills for the rest of your life. Every instance that occurred would be viewed as an opportunity to get better at conflict resolution. The more times you put yourself through the process, the better you would become.

Leaders don’t worry about being liked while they’re striving for common ground. Don’t try to be the man everyone likes. Be the man everyone respects. When you’re confident and comfortable in your position, what others may think about you during a conflict will become insignificant.

The alpha male understands that other people don’t always live by his rules, values, beliefs or standards. He understands that other people may not even believe in his values, let alone live by them. He never makes the mistake of assuming that they will—or even that they should. The alpha male also never takes it personally when other people don’t play life by his rules.

When the alpha male does get into conflicts, he doesn’t feel the need to talk about them afterward. He doesn’t need the “emotional therapy” of talking, justifying, rationalizing or explaining the conflict to other people. He has no need to do so because he never views any conflict as a bad experience.

Is the conflict-avoidance approach really working for you? Be honest! If you’re in a place of pain because you can’t get what you really want in life, then you absolutely must be honest with yourself for things to change. If you truly want to have more and better options, you absolutely must be honest with yourself.

Make sure that you immediately adopt the perspective of a strong leader—the alpha male—when challenged by disagreements, conflicts or confrontations. Then hold on to that mind-set and take action steps every chance you get.

Remember, when it comes to effectively resolving conflicts: If you think it—you must do it! There’s no backing down from that moment forward.

Editor’s note: Six-time national-champion bodybuilder and success coach Skip La Cour is the creator of MANformation, a powerful personal-development and fitness program for men that is based on the qualities and actions of the world’s most powerful, influential and charismatic men. It is a structured series of alpha leadership strategies for transforming you into the man you really want to be. It doesn’t matter where you are in your life right now, what you’ve achieved so far or your age. The MANformation program will help you become a better version of yourself—step-by-step and one strategy at a time. To learn more about the MANformation personal-development program, visit Sign up for the free weekly e-newsletter, and you’ll get a free alpha leadership e-book.

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