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Communication and Conflict

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A recent conflict in my life that has had a significant impact on my thoughts and emotions has been between one of my best friends, Taylor, and I. Over summer I was working for a company and I was putting together a promotional video for one of the creative directors of the company. I approached Taylor with a job to help me with the filming and editing of the video. Throughout our lives I had always acted as a big brother figure towards Taylor and since he has constantly struggled with staying motivated in school and in his professional life, I am rather hard on him. The editing process is where we found conflict. During the long editing hours of the video (hours at a time), I would stress that the video has to be perfect and constantly struggle with him accepting mediocre work. As the days went on there was no outspoken disagreements, but the communication contained very frustrated undertones and we would constantly refrain from directly speaking on the issue of my dissatisfaction of his attitude and work. On a few occasion, when tensions were high, small remarks were made by me that expressed how frustrated I was, but these remarks were quickly followed with a joke to lighten the tension or they were immediately ignored by both of us. I would constantly approach my mentors with the problem I had been facing and ways I could handle it without hurting feelings or our friendship, but in reality I knew I was just using my mentors open ears for venting rather than advice. Fortunately after the video was finished and was a huge success, our conflict disappeared and we now do not have any professional ties between us, which for some types of friends, is for the best.

My conflict goes a bit deeper than I originally thought. The conflict was not so much between him and I, it is between how to conduct myself professionally towards close friends. As his big brother figure, I would hate to ever discourage Taylor or make him feel inadequate due to our personal lives and how much we know about each other. That being said, I was under a lot of pressure to produce the best video I could. Our personal relationship was too deep to efficiently work together in a high stress environment and several factors such as low compensation and my "boss mentality" seemed to act as surface issues while my real conflict was how I was personally dissatisfied with how he has been conducting his life. After shadowing how my parents run their business and manage their employees and what I have learned in several of my communication courses, I know I could have addressed the situation more effectively in a professional environment. Instead of ignoring the issue or making quick jokes after spoken conflict words to lighten the situation, I think it would have been best to calmly talk with him about how our personal relationship was influencing how we worked together and conduct a dialogue to best understand both of



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