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Are You Killing Your Career By Avoiding Conflict?

Source | | Christine Comaford

Bob is the CEO of a thriving construction company. The only trouble is he works 75-hour weeks, because he “picks up the pieces” when his key leaders drop the ball. Yet he hasn’t made it clear they need to own their work. 

Sharon is the SVP Sales at a mid-sized software company. Her salespeople are highly compensated, yet continue to miss their numbers. And their compensation hasn’t been reduced. 

What do both leaders have in common? 

They’re avoiding conflict.  


How Your Brain Handles Conflict 

Many of us have been socialized or learned as adults that conflict is “bad” and in order to succeed, we should appear optimistic and positive at all times. Yet while this avoidance of conflict leads to superficial harmony, it denies what is really going on, and undermines genuine trust. 

When conflict occurs, many leaders (like Bob and Sharon) have a tendency to participate in it versus lead through it. It’s comfortable to do this, because our brains are wired to want to belong

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