Management Tip of the Day: Stop being so nice

Tue Oct 19, 2010 10:54am EDT
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BOSTON (Reuters Life!) - The Management Tip of the Day offers quick, practical management tips and ideas from Harvard Business Review and (http:\\ Any opinions expressed are not endorsed by Reuters.

"Conflict avoidance is a common trait of most corporate workplaces. But steering clear of disagreements and leaving things unsaid creates unnecessary complexity and needless anxiety. To get better at confronting conflict constructively, follow these three steps:

1. Reflect. Ask yourself whether there are times you should have spoken up but held your tongue. Do you avoid certain types of conflicts?

2. Get feedback. Ask trusted friends and colleagues how they perceive your readiness to engage in constructive conflict. They might see patterns that are less obvious to you.

3. Experiment. You don't have to change overnight. Try pushing back on a request or speaking up in a meeting and see how it goes. Preface your comment with an admission that you are working on getting better at conflict. This will help demonstrate your sincerity."

- Today's management tip was adapted from "Is Your Culture Too Nice?" by Ron Ashkenas.