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The average human being and professional dislikes conflict. Mainly, this is because people find it much easier (at least in the short term) to avoid confrontation even when they know it’s inevitable.

Let’s say someone musters up the strength and courage to confront another person. How they go about it usually sets them up for a volatile interaction, which only escalates the conflict. If there is one thing I think kids growing up in the education system should learn more, it’s healthy conflict resolution. Unfortunately, it’s just not taught enough. This puts people, including leaders, in a trial and error learning process. Thus most people engage with conflict in 1 of 3 ways: passive aggression, anger, or suppression.

When we react in any of these 3 ways, it’s an outside in approach. We’re attempting to change our team members to meet our needs instead of changing ourselves to meet their needs.

Thankfully, there is a better way!

We must work through our insecurities from the inside out.

Healthy conflict resolution has three key aspects:

  1. Self-assertion: This includes expressing concerns strategically in ways that minimize defensiveness. It honors your integrity and worth.
  2. Active listening: This includes reflecting what the person is saying, inquiring with direct questions, summarizing, and testing what you’ve heard.  It honors your team member’sintegrity and worth.
  3. Collaboration: It involves mutual understanding and joint problem-solving. As a result, team members find common ground so they don’t have to repeat the same unhealthy cycle in the future. Collaboration honors you and your team member’sintegrity and worth.

Are you now ready to take this initiative to the workplace?

For more on this, purchase my new book, All In: How Impactful Teams Build Trust From the Inside Out.