When we write we know to put characters in conflict but in real life, we avoid that all we can. And quite reasonably so. But sometimes, it might be worth a bit of a scrap:
While some people plow through conflict to get their way, a 2010 study by Provo, Utah-based leadership training firm VitalSmarts found that 95% of employees have trouble voicing differences of opinion, which results in a loss of roughly $1,500 per eight-hour workday in lost productivity, doing unnecessary work, and engaging in active avoidance of co-workers for every crucial conversation they avoid.
“We’re constantly faced with choices and conflicts. We work through the vast majority. The conflicts that get the most attention are the ones that go bad or go wrong,” says Peter T. Coleman, psychology and education professor at New York City’s Columbia University and author of the forthcoming Making Conflict Work: Harnessing the Power of Disagreement.
Somewhere between browbeating and caving in every time you’re faced with someone else’s preferences, there’s a middle ground out of which can spring innovation and ideas.
Moran’s full piece goes on to give five pointers on how and when to do it, starting with choosing your battles wisely.