Are you an avoider or initiator at work?

Are you (or someone you know) an avoider?  You know…when there is conflict, contention, carrying-on in a nasty way that doesn’t stop, do you ever think “I gotta get outta here?”

We all have that feeling at some time. However, when it happens over and over it’s a powerful behavior pattern…the avoider.

Avoiders often grew up in families where dissension and disagreement never got resolved. In worst case situations, it became violent with physical or verbal abuse, hitting with hands or with words. In other cases (actually, equally as bad) it was the silent treatment with icicles and frozen one word meaningless responses.

Those I coach who wear the avoider jacket tell of hiding from the unpleasantness of the adults by going to a vacant room and closing the door and putting their hands over their ears or getting out of the house just to get some quiet.

Think for a minute about how your family handled conflict.

                                         Was it a continuous blame game?

                                         Was it pushed under the rug?

                                         Wat it resolved by negotiation?

                                         Was it ended by agreeing to disagree?

                                         Was it left hanging in the air?

                                         Was it handled with respect or dissing?

There is a gender issue here also. More often than not, guys want to get the hell away from an angry woman. And women want resolution, or at least want to be heard and acknowledged.

At work avoiders are absolutely aware of contentious issues, they just don’t want to face them. So you will hear “I’ll get back to you,” or “Let me think about it,” or “Let’s let it work itself out.”

Want to know how to talk with an avoider? Watch the video here:


The good news about transformed avoiders is they are amazing at flipping that run-away energy into becoming initiators. They start the dialogue to have difficult conversations and they stay with it to resolution with out judgement, blame or attack. They become the go-to individuals when stuff gets out of hand. They make amazing leaders who are admired and revered.

Sylvia Lafair

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