Many of us try to avoid confrontation. Instead of addressing issues directly, we try to be “nice” and then later vent about the frustration eating away at us. This can take a significant toll on our health and self-esteem — and on our work relationships and reputation. Next time you notice yourself shying away from conflict, focus on the business needs and speak objectively. For example, if you have a coworker who always interrupts you in meetings, explain the need to present a unified front: “In the last meeting, I noticed we were interacting in a way that may be throwing off the team.
It’s important to appear united. Can we determine our roles in advance or establish cues for when it’s time to pass the baton?” People avoid conflict because they assume that it has to be aggressive or disrespectful. It doesn’t — if you remain approachable, non-judgmental, and calm.
Adapted from “Get Over Your Fear of Conflict” by Amy Jen Su.