Conflict can be a good thing. Donald Miller compares engaging in conflict to being like having a great workout — it can hurt a bit in the moment, but it leads to a healthier future.
This doesn’t mean you should go around stirring up drama and creating conflict, but rather you shouldn’t run away from it when it shows up. The concept isn’t dissimilar to Adam Grant’s philosophy of “not agreeing to disagree“.
Donald also provides four tactics that can help with conflict.
Expect conflict. Know that it’s coming so it doesn’t take you by surprise.
Control your emotions. A solid debate is far different than a shouting match.
Affirm the person you are confronting. Presumably, this is someone you care about if you’re willing to engage, so take some time to point out good things along the way.
Understand you could be wrong. I see this one as perhaps being the most important, but also the most difficult. If you’re willing to engage in respectful conflict with someone, you presumably respect them. If you respect them, you should be willing to consider the possibility that they might be right. Being free to change your mind is a wonderful trait to have, and if you were indeed wrong then, hey, now you’re less wrong than you were before.
If you disagree with someone that you respect, you owe it to them to hash out the differences. Hopefully, they’ll be willing to do the same for you.