Part of the draw of the presidential debate is the ensuing conflict. We want to hear how each candidate responds to points of difference, and clarifies their own perspectives.

Yet, on the job, many people feel that conflict is not a desirable state. They are even afraid of it. Well, I beg to differ. I think that it is wonderful when folks are not afraid to engage in passionate dialogue around issues and decisions that are key to personal and organizational success. When people do not hesitate to disagree with, challenge or question one another — all in the spirit of finding the best answers, discovering the truth and making great decisions — some really cool things can happen.

It can increase commitment, engagement and accountability; drive results; and build understanding, trust and rapport. We can disagree and thrive. And here is another reality: when conflict isn’t surfaced and discussed, it can actually undercut situations and relationships in ways that are insidious and harmful.

How we manage conflict is where the rubber hits the road!

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