Why Nice is Not Always the Answer

Conflict Avoidance Can Cripple Companies

Managers who avoid conflict in the corporate world, may be creating disconnects between business units, causing unnecessary project plan revisions, and lowering the standards of performance.

No one likes conflict. However, it is an unavoidable aspect of corporate management, according to Ron Ashkenas, a managing partner of Schaffer

Consulting. In order to keep the work flowing, managers must engage more effectively in constructive conflict. Ashkenas suggests the following steps to lose the nice and engage in conflict as needed.

  1. Appraise your conflict-ability: Do an honest appraisal of your willingness to challenge, deliver bad news or create any kind of conflict. The first step is to recognize where you could have done better in the past, and to understand how often you are avoiding conflict.
  2. Ask others: Talk to your family, friends and coworkers to see what they think about your willingness to engage in constructive conflict. Ask for examples.
  3. Correct slowly: Experiment with conflict. Speak up when you don’t agree. Push back when your boss makes no sense. Give feedback that is necessary but uncomfortable. Make sure you preface these actions by saying that you are working on your ability to handle conflict.

Hiding in a corner when conflict arises will undermine your management ability and company successes. Test the ‘not so nice’ waters today!


Vickilynn is a Novelist whose first book "Waving Backwards" was published in July 2015. She is also a Blogger at Adoptionfind Blog. Previously, she was a Freelance marketing copywriter at OpenView.
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