Author: Dr. Laura Sicola

Separating Conflict from Combat: Listening to Understand

In Part 1, we looked at different perceptions of conflict, and how people’s different levels of tolerance for conflict-based anxiety can have a huge impact on how they respond to it. Today, let’s look at key steps to take to approach the issue in conflict collaboratively and constructively, so that conflict doesn’t have to lead to combat. Remember that the conflict intensity continuum looks like this: The rule of thumb is that in order to keep conflict at the level of civil discussion, everyone has to feel safe, trusting that they will not be punished for honesty, and that...

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Separating Conflict from Combat: Part 1

No matter how much we dislike it, the potential for conflict is everywhere. Whether it’s something as simple as a scheduling conflict or as explicit as a conflict of interests and priorities when writing budgets, the most fundamental rule is to address them in a way that keeps the conflict from turning into combat. Ironically, it is often through the efforts and extents people go through in attempt to avoid the subject of the conflict that they end up making a bad situation worse, as problems are allowed to fester. I once worked with an executive team who were...

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