How to Change Conflict to Collaboration

Hi everyone! Sylvia Lafair here and I’d like to offer just a few tidbits about conflict and how to handle that nasty thing that drives us all crazy.

So, when they ask how many people out there like conflict raise your hand. If you do all over the world where I worked I have asked that question and in a room of 50, in a room of 200 you usually get one or two people who raise their hands.

Conflict is something that makes us get tight inside, scares us, makes us want to run the other way, makes us feel like is it my fault, is it always my fault. So, what I’m going to do is, give you one little tidbit toward the end of this.

So, listen for just a minute. There are so many times at work where we feel discounted, ignored, pushed aside because somebody else is trying to climb the ladder of success. So, you can’t blame them for climbing the ladder of success but you need to know how to manage that. It’s like taking wild horses and learning how to teach them to behave properly.

So, what does that all mean? It means you don’t run away. You don’t get into it with them. You stay very centered. You breathe. You ask questions and if you have a colleague that’s really upsetting to you, my biggest suggestion is don’t go to each. I don’t go to your boss. Don’t go to your friends. Don’t go to your colleagues. Go to the person. So, what do you do once you go to the person. Well, you have to talk to them right.

Okay, so here’s the way you do it. You can start there, two ways: one is you can start and tell them how you feel about things you know. When you tell me my work isn’t good enough, I feel frustrated, discounted, upset, whatever your word is, and then what I do. What I have done is, normally I shut down, push away. I pull the curtain down. I talked to myself. I talked to my friends, but this time I’m really going to talk to you.

So, the question here is, what can we do to make our relationship work better? That’s it. That’s all you have to say, and then you zip it, you get quiet, you listen to them, and you wait for their response,  and then… but this has to come from the work you’ve done. Your internal work saying, “I really do want to have a relationship with you.” That works too many times. I’m getting responses that are saying, “I can’t work with him or her and I’m leaving the job,” and what I have found is, often you go into another job and there’s another him or her right there.

So, tackle this. Learn how to handle it. Learn to look at the essence of conflict, and when the stress gets to the hot button, know that you always tend to revert to patterns you used in your younger years to protect yourself. This isn’t about protection. It’s about understanding. It’s about dialogue. It’s about creating a new way.

I’d love you to contact me at I’d love to hear from you. We have an incredible staff of coaches who can work with you, and one of our major skills is helping people learn to handle conflict in a way that you can change things from very nasty, annoying, push away to a next level of collaboration.

It’s doable. It’s workable and we all need to learn it.

Thank you so much. Have a wonderful day and here’s to your success.

Sylvia Lafair