Leaning Into Conflict

Businessmen in conflict

The word conflict implicitly carries a negative connotation. When we think of conflict, we often have a physical as well as emotional response. Heart rate, breathing, and perspiration increase while our fight or flight response engages. Certainly, approaching conflict as an all-or-none equation by either reacting aggressively (fight) or avoiding the conflict entirely (flight) results in a net-negative. There is value, however, in embracing conflict. Through conflict, we challenge assumptions, establish priorities, identify weaknesses, and generate ideas. We should be open to conflict that can create better business outcomes. This doesn’t mean we hand out a set of boxing gloves … Read More

Collaborating through Conflict

Conflict at work

When I started my career fresh out of grad school, I worked as a recruiter in a highly competitive IT consultant firm. It didn’t take long to realize that, more often than not, if a candidate failed to succeed it wasn’t because he/she lacked the technical skills necessary to complete the work. The key issue was always a soft skills gap. Communication, time management, a positive attitude, problem solving skills, etc. It was always a soft skill deficit that created conflict and resulted in having to back-fill the position. I learned to ask all candidates to “Tell me about a … Read More