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How to Defuse Conflict Before It Begins

We don’t know anybody who loves interpersonal conflict. It’s uncomfortable, and it brings up a ton of negative emotions. Most of us try to avoid conflict whenever possible. Even as a leader, you may wonder, “Do I really have to have this hard conversation?”

Here’s some good news. Conflict can actually be an opportunity for growth, not just a problem to solve. That happens when you learn how to engage with others—not just attack or defend. Based on a lifetime of dealing with difficult situations, we’ve identified five steps to help you face up to conflict. 

Try this! You’ll instantly untangle that knot in your stomach and see how a hard conversation can become a win for you and for others. Best of all, you’ll have another solid tool in your leadership toolbox. 

In this episode you will—

  • Learn what it means to “hold space” for others, a key listening skill. 
  • Gain practical tips for having difficult conversations. 
  • Identify the one reaction that will both disarm conflict and redeem your relationship with the other person. 
  • Understand when it’s best to speak and when to listen. 
  • Gain the confidence to lead through initiating tough conversations. 

Once you’ve listened to this episode, here’s your next step. Think about the last time someone came to you with a complaint or problem about your leadership. Identify the ways you might have responded better using these five steps. You’ll grow as a leader!

Be a Pal

Do you know someone who could benefit from this topic? We’ll bet you do. Everybody hates conflict! Drop a link to this episode in your favorite social media channel, and tag your peeps. They’ll thank you for it! Include the hashtag #leadtowin.

Resources from This Episode
Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin