Read an Excerpt
Why Top Performers Have to Know About Conflict
Top performers must understand all sides of conflict. They know that negative conflict is costly and that avoiding conflict hurts productivity and impacts the bottom line. They also embrace the fact that they cannot escape conflict. However, the biggest secret that top performers know is that conflict is not always bad. Conflict, when handled well, is a catalyst for top performance. In this chapter we will explore both the potential damages and potential benefits that conflict can have on you and on an organization.
I'm on vacation, so the last thing I want to hear about is conflict. As I sit on the balcony trying to relax, I cannot help but hear the four people on the balcony next to mine. They are coworkers, at the hotel for a trade show, and one of the female coworkers traveling with them has gotten on their nerves. They loudly complain of her selfishness, whining, and general negative demeanor at work and on this trip. They spend ten minutes on one comment she made on the ride to the hotel. They rip this person apart without mercy for a long period of time, crucifying her with vicious, attacking words. Then...silence. And after the silence, the once nasty voices changed to pleasant, caring, and soft voices of joy and friendship. What happened, you might wonder? Well, the coworker about whom they were complaining walked into the room. And the once angry voices now dripped with insincere platitudes and the façade of friendly conversation. My guess? The woman will never hear about her coworker's anger and disappointment. They complained to everyone in earshot about her behavior except to the one person who had any chance of changing the behavior.