By Chris Thompson, Director of Business Development, Skillsoft
When you work with other people, it's guaranteed there will be times when you don't agree with something someone does or says. There will be times when you have the urge to address an individual and communicate your concerns. But for some reason, people avoid having these difficult conversations.
If you manage people, it's likely you are providing feedback and having difficult conversations on a regular basis. People tend to have an easier time discussing concerns with people who work for them. That's part of what they do. But what about the people who don't work directly for you that you have problems with?
You likely have other people you depend on to help you or your team be successful. Take the marketing team as an example.
If you're in sales, marketing is a key part of your success. Are you able to have productive debates and discussions with the people in marketing you interact with regularly? Do you point out problems? Or do you accept the status quo and let things slide? Generally speaking, people don't like conflict.
I've found that most people would prefer to take the path of least resistance and not rock the boat too much.
They hold things in, look the other way when they see problems and avoid addressing issues. And I can certainly understand why. It's not a natural instinct, and it can be uncomfortable, depending on the situation.
One of my favorite business books is The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, by Patrick Lencioni. In the book, Lencioni highlights and discusses five key issues that plague teams and cause decreases in performance, morale and overall team effectiveness. And guess what is highlighted as one of the five dysfunctions of a team? Yes, fear of conflict.