The Question That Resolves Conflict
GCG Leadership Development Team

Conflict is an unfortunate and unavoidable part of our lives. While it has the potential to stimulate us to accomplish great things, it can also drag us off course, erode relationships, and keep us from becoming the kind of person we want to become.

Our daily challenge is to decide which conflicts are useful and which are counterproductive. Today, we want to share a simple formula that can help you avoid pointless skirmishes and take on what really matters most. Following it can dramatically decrease your daily stress level, pointless debate, and wasted time.

When you see conflict arise, ask yourself this question:


“Am I willing, at this time, to make the investment required to make a positive difference on this topic?”


You may wonder, how does asking myself a mere question change anything? We have to recognize that in every waking hour we are bombarded by people and events that pull us in different directions. Our environment tempts us with never-ending distractions. If we can create just a split-second delay in our response, we can get back in control and consciously decide how we react.

Let’s examine the question more closely:

“Am I willing” implies that we are taking responsibility. We are asking ourselves, “Do I really want to do this?”

“At this time” reminds us to stay focused on the present moment. What matters is the issue we are facing right now.

“To make the investment required” provokes the consideration that responding to others is an expenditure of time and energy. Our resources are finite, so we have to ask, “Is this the best use of my time?”

“To make a positive difference” places emphasis on our mission: to help create a better world and a better us. If our response wouldn’t accomplish one or the other, why get involved?

“On this topic” focuses on the problem at hand. Any time spent on issues where we can’t make a positive difference is taken away from topics where we can.

Asking the question provides you with sufficient time to reflect before you engage or move on. You get the chance to make peace with what you are not going to change and free yourself up to tackle the challenges that really matter in your life.

“Am I willing, at this time, to make the investment required to make a positive difference on this topic?”


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