Here is an excerpt from my latest post for Harvard Business Review entitled, To Guide Difficult Conversations, Try Using Compassion.  One of the most common questions I get from clients and audiences is “How do I deal with conflict at work?”  What they are often really asking me is, “How can I avoid conflict at work?”  Unfortunately, since workplaces are made up with lots of other people, that is often not possible.  But we don’t have to roll over and just put up with others’ bad behavior.  We can confront that behavior without accusing the perpetrator of nefarious intent.  How can you take the sting out of confrontation?  Use compassion.
After reading the article, I’d love to see you comment on a situation you experienced at work where this approach might have either changed the outcome or made the incident less unpleasant. 


“Oh no, here comes another one of those conversations,” you say to yourself.

You know what I’m talking about—we all have to face them from time to time, and they can be the bane of a leader’s existence. Imagine that you’re leading a project and one member of your group has been aggressive and counterproductive in team meetings recently. The first time you saw this behavior, you were stunned. It seemed so out of character that you let it pass. After all, even good people indulge in bad behavior now and then.

But the next week, the same thing happened. Now you’ve just experienced the third outburst, and you can see the rest of the team losing patience. If this behavior continues, you risk losing the esprit de corps that you’ve worked so hard to create. The very idea of confronting this aggressive person fills you with anxiety and dread, but the longer this goes on, the greater the damage. So how can you go about addressing this situation?  


The Joy of Strategy,
A Business Plan for Life

As always, thanks so much for reading and sharing.

With joy and gratitude,



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