by Tony DiLeonardi
Conflict. It's a word that generally brings up negative
emotions in people. And while conflict is inevitable, many of
us expend great energy at avoiding it. However, this
avoidance frequently perpetuates unnecessary tension and may even
prevent productive solutions. In fact, I think Pulitzer-Prize
winning journalist Walter Lippmann summed it up best with his quote
"Where all think alike, no one thinks very much." I firmly believe
that those who embrace and lead conflict may create stronger and
longer-lasting business relationships.
To help you more effectively deal with conflict, we'll devote
our next few posts to exploring sources of conflict, how to coach
conflict and the three-steps for handling conflict well. If managed
well, conflict can have positive long-term effects and result in
creative problem-solving. If not managed well, I'm sure you'd
agree it can impair the connection you've worked so hard to
establish in your relationships.
I'll leave you with an unsourced anecdote that demonstrates the
effect unmanaged conflict can have on a relationship. One of Lyndon
B. Johnson's daughters was asked by a journalist to describe her
relationship with her famous father. After a moment's
thought, she composed a reply: "Blood."