We all do it. And we do it more than we should. No, we’re not talking about making New Year’s resolutions that we don’t keep; we’re talking about avoiding conflict in the workplace. We bite our tongues when we should more readily express our opinions or perspectives. We hesitate to disagree or we go along with a questionable consensus. We suppress or minimize what rightfully bothers us to “keep the peace.”
Reflect – Give yourself an honest appraisal of your readiness to challenge, give bad news, or otherwise create a degree of conflict.Get feedback – Ask friends, family, and colleagues for their perception of your willingness to engage in conflict, and your ability to do it constructively.Correct the problem, gradually – Do some experimenting, particularly in the areas that are habitually difficult for you. Try pushing back on a request from your boss that doesn’t make sense. Speak up in a project meeting when you don’t agree. Give someone feedback that you’ve been withholding. And do so in a communicative and genuine manner.