SOURCE: Mariposa Leadership, Inc.

May 03, 2007 12:50 ET

Mariposa Leadership Takes the Sting Out of Conflict

Can Conflict Be Healthy for Your Business?

SAN FRANCISCO, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- May 3, 2007 -- In business today, one idea prevails: "Conflict is bad, it's frustrating, and it needs to be avoided." But conflicts do exist, they always have and always will; and the notion of a "conflict-free workplace" is myth, not reality. So what's needed? A new reality.

Here's one to think about -- businesses need to create "conflict-competent work places." Where it's safe for conflict to occur; where rules that foster healthy conflict are established and everyone knows what they are.

Leaders set the stage for this new reality by determining how conflict is handled. Yet with many of today's leaders being ill equipped to deal with conflict in the workplace, they often turn a blind eye in hopes that it will go away or magically resolve itself. There's far too much at stake today for leaders to use denial as their default mode. So what can leaders do to become more conflict competent?

Mariposa Leadership, Inc. Founder/CEO Sue Bethanis states that, "Understanding the dynamics associated with conflict, and learning to lessen its destructive aspects while promoting its positive aspects, are goals all leaders must strive to achieve." Bethanis offers 3 ways to accomplish this.

1.  Get out of denial -- Become competent in dealing with conflict.
    Heighten your awareness to the conflicts that exist in your
    workplace. Start by noticing how they are handled, and who is

2.  Get in tune -- Pay attention to your conflict attitudes. Do you react
    or overreact? You set the tone and your emotional intelligence sets
    the standard.

3.  Get others on board -- Become a champion of change. When properly
    understood and managed correctly, conflict can be healthy and
    beneficial to your organization.
If you want your organization to be one where fresh ideas are fostered, and new opportunities present themselves, then cultivate constructive responses to conflict. When you do, you'll be on the path to creating a conflict competent organization and that's where doors open and greatness enters.

Susan J. Bethanis, Ed.D., is the Founder/CEO of Mariposa Leadership, Inc., author of Leadership Chronicles of a Corporate Sage, and host of Wise Talk.

Mariposa Leadership, Inc. offers premier leadership coaching services to high-tech, biotech, and financial industries.

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