Approach conflict as a collaborator

Approach conflict as a collaborator, not an adversary. We humans hate losing even more than we love winning. A perceived loss triggers attempts to reestablish fairness through competition, criticism, or disengagement, which is a form of workplace-learned helplessness. True success is a win-win outcome, so when conflicts come up, it makes sense to avoid triggering a fight-or-flight reaction by seeking an outcome that is mutually desirable.


  • “How can we achieve a mutually desirable outcome?”

  • “How can we collaborate to make this an overall win for our company?”

  • “How can we partner to solve the problem or system that may have prompted the conflict?”