Use Conflict For Good


When under attack, step outside of yourself and look at the core problem, not the person.


How often do you have misunderstandings at work that spin out of control, becoming more about personal attacks on anyone involved instead of an objective perspective to the cause of the conflict?

Conflict is going to happen anywhere where there are individuals in  different roles, with different personalities who compete for resources and have to reach outcomes that only they seem to understand.


Work is not personal yet the conflict very quickly slides into a personal mudslinging match.


As a leader what is your role?  When you are in conflict with a colleague be careful to keep it professional and not allow it to become a personal attack. 


Pause, step outside of yourself. 


Reflect on the following:

  • What are the core systems/competencies not in place?
  • Is this a communication issue?
  • Is this an accountability issue?

All events have context and a back story.  Understanding this allows you to see the bigger picture and address the key issues without being sucked into the murky waters of the “he said,”  “she said” scenario.

With respect, keep the conversations restricted to the questions that focus on the core problem.  Do not allow yourself to deflect and defend with “yes but they…”.  It allows you the opportunity to go deeper into the core issue and deal with the issue at hand in a way that it will not keep coming back in different forms, repeating the same core issue. 


The ability to step outside of yourself and not get personal, defensive or aggressive takes practice and a conscious effort.  Once mastered, this behavior has a powerful effect on the team as others start modeling your behavior.  Encouraging the team to not shift from one conflict to the other, instead it enabling the incidence to be viewed as a lesson, how can ‘we’ improve and move forward together. 


What a wonderful world it could be to work in a conflict free zone. Where individuals are psychologically safe to explore mistakes and different view points, as opportunities to learn from, instead of triggers that lead to conflict.

  • What is your role in your recent conflict?
  • What would have been different if you had stepped out of yourself and looked for and stuck with the core issue?
  • How can you implement this in your team?


Lashing out in Hurt and Frustration accelerates the Conflict Cycle…


What can you do to pause and acknowledge your hurt and frustration before you deflect, defend and attack?