Conflict is natural and inevitable. Our comfort level with addressing it determines our response and the outcome.  Here are 11 tips for making it constructive, from Executive Coach Helen Baxter-Southworth and team dynamics expert Russ Forrester.

  1. Move toward conflict, not away from it.  
  2. Deal with conflict openly and above board, not behind the scenes.  
  3. Surface the conflict with the person you have a difference with not bystanders or other parties.
  4. Separate the person from the issue. 
  5. Bear whatever anxiety confronting the conflict entails.  
  6. Respect others in their difference.
  7. Ask, don’t infer, the other person’s motivations or intentions.
  8. Begin with neutrality rather than in judgment or condemnation.
  9. State your views clearly and explicitly without filtering them.  
  10. Hang in there and don’t fold to get it over with.
  11. Don’t withhold contrary views because you are afraid you’ll hurt the person’s feelings.