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Blog

18
Feb

We got talking about expectations in a session I was facilitating last week. The conversation was like a giant projective test; quickly exposing the participants’ core ideologies about people, and relationships, and trust. Some of the people around the table talked about the power of the self-fulfilling prophecy and how setting lofty goals can inspire […]

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11
Feb

I’m deep into writing my new book and I’ve had an epiphany: Organizations are built to require conflict while employees are built to avoid it. I see this impact of this problem every day, but it took me 20 years to name it. Now it’s so clear. We have set up a fundamental tension between […]

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04
Feb

I facilitated a workshop this week that has given me lots of juicy fodder for discussion here with you. The session focused on uncomfortable discussions, including considerable time on how to give and to receive feedback. The conversation evolved as it usually does: we started with the mechanics of how to give feedback and quickly […]

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28
Jan

I keep encouraging you to wade into uncomfortable conversations as they emerge to avoid racking up conflict debt. Rather than deferring the topic, or talking only with those who agree with you, it’s best to get the disagreement out in the open. When you do, the point is to find a way to get on […]

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21
Jan

You know that your team is conflict avoidant. You know it’s preventing you from surfacing issues, thoroughly discussing them, and getting them resolved effectively. You really want to make it better, but how do you start? The people on your team (and maybe even your boss) are seriously unwilling to broach any subject that might […]

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14
Jan

This is the last of a series of posts exploring the causes and impact of our profound conflict aversion. I’m exploring how the things we were told as children, taught us that conflict was bad.  “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all,” or “Mind your own business!” or “You made him […]

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17
Dec

I’m in the midst of a series of posts exploring our profound conflict aversion and its toll on businesses, teams, and individuals. In previous posts, I shared a couple of the things we’re taught as children that give rise to our conflict aversion: “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all,” and […]

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10
Dec

We’re not having enough conflict. We need more conflict to trigger innovation, mitigate risks, surface issues that could erode trust, and to advocate for ourselves. Although you know intellectually that working through the conflict is important, the voices inside your head give you so many reasons why you should avoid it. One of those voices […]

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03
Dec

We’re not having enough conflict. Our conflict debt is costing us dearly: as organizations, we fail to prioritize and accomplish little; as teams, we work around the problem people and overwhelm the good ones; as individuals, we stifle our concerns and become increasingly stressed and disengaged. We need more conflict, but the voices inside our […]

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26
Nov

In my previous post, I shared with you the idea of “conflict debt,” where we avoid the uncomfortable conversations that are desperately needed for the health of our organizations, our teams, and ourselves. When we avoid these prickly situations, we rack up conflict debt and start paying debilitating interest. But if conflict aversion is so […]

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