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Conflict Avoidance - 4 Tips to Breaking the Cycle

Posted by Cheri Kuhn on
Conflict Avoidance - 4 Tips to Breaking the Cycle

Take a moment to think back at a time where you avoided a conflict at work or home. For many, we're guessing that it didn't take long to find one.  While conflict avoidance can come in many forms, it becomes a problem when it's the default reaction over and over again. 

Since you're reading this, it should come as no surprise that we are here to tell you that there is no benefit to you, at work or at home, to allow issues to go unresolved. They simply won't magically just work themselves out. With some practice, the following tips helped us tackle difficult conversations head on and we loved the results. 

  1. Be kind and gracious, but brief and direct.
  2. Avoid "sugar-coating" your message. You risk diluting the importance.
  3. Agree on a remedy or solution. This should be specific: What is it, how will you know (the measurable), and a timeline. Agree to a time to follow-up.
  4. Practice, practice, practice! Find a trusted colleague (or a mirror) and run through what you plan to say. It’s not enough to say it in your head–you need to say out loud.

Clear, honest and timely communication is a skill that will make things so much easier on you and those around you. Looking for some help? There are two books that are great references in this space: Radical Candor (Kim Scott) and Fierce Conversations (Susan Scott). So let's take conflict avoidance off cruise control and get started!

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