Stay in the Know: Embracing Conflict as a Leader

Today the ABR blog is helping you “stay in the know” by sharing an article that we found interesting. We think you will too.

To be an effective leader, one must be equipped to handle conflict in a direct manner. We need to recognize that conflict between people is a normal, natural, and inevitable part of lifeat work, at home, and in all our relationships with others.

Unfortunately, many of us don’t really accept this fact and we still get surprised and distressed when it’s clear that a conflict has emerged. As long as everything is going along smoothly, it’s easy to be considerate and respectful of another person’s needs. They are in no way interfering with our own. But the emergence of a conflict can change all of thatnow we can feel threatened, anxious, and angry. The same person whom we enjoyed working with yesterday now seems like an adversary.

The piano maker Theodore Steinway said, “In one of our concert grand pianos, 243 taut strings exert a pull of 40,000 pounds on an iron frame. It is proof that out of great tension may come great harmony.” Authentic communication can actually turn tension into creativity and harmony. Leaders must embrace conflict through conversation.

This article from Harvard Business Review provides three conversation tactics to engage with conflict. Which of these strategies do you use?


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