A Perspective and Way to Handle Conflicts

To Get More Comfortable with Conflict, Stop Making It Personal

Conflict is a normal, healthy part of working with other people. And yet many of us avoid it at all costs — often because it feels personal. To get more comfortable with disagreements, and to reap the benefits of productive conflict, let go of the idea that it’s all about you. If you model that you’re comfortable with productive conflict, you’ll show your team that it’s OK to disagree, encouraging people to raise their ideas. To move a work conflict away from the personal, think about the bigger picture and the business’s needs. Disagreements often arise over objectives and processes, for example. When you and a colleague have different views about something, ask yourself: Why is this difference of opinion an important debate to have? How will it help the organization or the project you’re working on? The more you can keep a conflict focused on the business, the better chance you have of resolving it in a way that benefits everyone.

Adapted from “Why We Should Be Disagreeing More at Work,” by Amy Gallo and as mentioned in the Harvard Business Review's Management Tip of the Day from May 16, 2018.