4 Options for Dealing with Too Little Conflict

When is the last time you had an animated discussion at work with one of your colleagues? If you can’t remember when, I suggest you have four primary options:

  • Look to reposition yourself inside your organization
  • Start looking for your next career stop
  • Learn how to overcome your fear of conflict
  • Accept that you have become part of "the machine" (problem)

When we are fully committed to our work our commitment is manifest by energy, moral courage and a willingness to stand up for what we believe to best for the organization. Sometimes, this commitment will go against others and/or the status quo of the organization.

Conflict is the mother of collaboration. When people aren’t committed enough to openly state and resolve differences of opinion there is little chance for change and improvement.

Standing up to authority is critically important for organizations to learn and grow. If you are out of practice, or simply not wired to engage in spirited debates, you need to find the skills and experiences necessary to raise your concerns and ideas to others. When you do, you will probably find that your concerns or ideas are shared by others – most often we are not alone – but the fear to discuss important topics at work can keep us silent and that makes us think we are alone. Learn to be more afraid of silence than of potential conflict.

Words to live by: you don’t have to enjoy conflict – just get good at it!

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