Why Conflict is Key

Which story do you like better?

Chances are, you were probably more interested in the second video and were curious about what was going to happen with the peanut butter. Why?

Because of conflict.

Excluding conflict is such a problem in corporate storytelling and it totally destroys any chance of telling a story…at all. In this scenario, the first story wasn’t really a story. It was just a series of events. Kid asks for sandwich, person makes sandwich, child eats sandwich.

But, when we introduce conflict into a story or when we introduce a problem to solve, this makes us ask a question in our brains like “what happens?” or “how does it get solved”? Or in this case—will Doug get the peanut butter before Rose loses it? With that conflict, the level of engagement increases significantly, and our brains magnetize to that story to get the closure it so badly needs.

Conflict is pretty much the reason we’ll sit through any movie, TV series or book. And beyond silly videos (like this one hehe), this works in business too.

Every business serves multiple conflicts. The conflict could be why you decided to start a business, or the problem your business is trying to solve. Conflict can be in the story of a team member who just wanted to be valued in their work and wasn’t at their last job. Or a customer who couldn’t find the right experienced in buying a car.

When you tell your stories, whether it’s personal or for a business, make sure there is a conflict that needs to be addressed. If you don’t, it becomes much harder for us to engage and easier for us to leave.

So, try writing a few conflicts down about you or your business. A few problems that you solve or have solved. You might be surprised to see how many there are!


— Tripwire Team