In music and in conflict…
Drilled into my head as a young musician in orchestras and choirs—the right note at the wrong time is the wrong note.
1-and 2-and 3-ee-and-ah 4
Usually with foot stomping and clapping. Definitely with arm waving.
Ensemble playing is a team sport, and the precision of timing makes the difference between a beautiful chord and an offkey clash.
Life is also a team sport. Timing makes the difference between growing together and healing or hurt, pain, and broken relationships.
In interpersonal communication, we must discern the right timing to approach a conversation—especially a conflict.
A conflict can be absolutely necessary to work through, and yet, working through that conflict when everyone involved is overtired—or blocking the entrance to Target—is likely to be the wrong time. A better plan is to acknowledge the timing is poor and schedule a time to revisit the conversation.
Waiting too long to address a conflict complicates the hurt, causes unnecessary harm, and possibly a relationship lost. Bringing up an issue when it’s still relevant and solvable takes discernment—and courage.
Trouble deciding? Ask for help. That foot-stomping and arm-waving from conductors kept us all together. Sometimes we need a bit of coaching from the outside to keep in time.
At the right time, music happens.
At the right time, #conflictisopportunity.