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From Conflict to Courage

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From Conflict to Courage

How to Stop Avoiding and Start Leading


15 min read
8 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

A unique guide to help leaders manage conflict and navigate difficult conversations.

Editorial Rating



  • Applicable
  • Engaging
  • Inspiring


Marlene Chism’s decades of experience as a factory worker and more recently as a corporate culture coach give her a unique and valuable perspective on managing conflict and difficult conversations. Like many before her, she advises leaders to face conflict and not avoid it – but she goes on to offer specific advice to help you prepare yourself internally for difficult conversations, so you don’t react to emotional triggers and can listen intently even when you disagree. For leaders especially, this guide to self-regulation, coaching and emotional integrity might make even the hardest conversations more comfortable.


Learning to engage in conflict can help you become a better manager and grow personally.

Many leaders – even those at the top – avoid conflict. You shouldn’t go looking for conflict, but you shouldn’t try to avoid or eliminate it, either. Instead, you can turn conflict into a constructive experience by redefining it. And by starting within – making transformations within yourself, first – you can create change in your workplace and often gain others’ agreement, without having to force new ways of doing things.

You might tell yourself that you avoid difficult conversations because you don’t want to hurt the other person’s feelings, but in reality you avoid them because of how they make you feel – the discomfort you expect to feel. You worry the other person might get defensive, their feelings might be hurt, they might resist, or you might lose your temper. Because you don’t want to experience these feelings, you avoid the necessary conversation, and the conflict becomes mismanaged. Thus, the onus remains squarely on you to learn how to engage conflict rather than avoid it.

You can build the courage to improve your conflict resolution skills...

About the Author

Marlene Chism is a consultant and speaker specializing in resolving workplace drama. She’s the author of No-Drama Leadership and Stop Workplace Drama.

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