By January 13, 2009 5 Comments Read More →

Can Conflict Improve Your Personal Performance?

Can you avoid conflicts? – No.
Can you make conflict work for you? – Yes.

Are there best practices to make conflict improve my personal performance?

Mechanical Animals by VanessaO.
by VanessaO


I adopted software performance engineering to improve my personal performance. I started to treat conflicts like computers do.

Conflict Management Rules

  • Do not use conflict to control relationships. I learned it from my kids. John Wooden put it precisely – The Carrot Is Mightier Than A Stick. Same with colleagues, customers, and managers. It is simple technique of influence without authority. Conflict is very expensive technique to get results (ask any software performance engineer and she will tell you a lot about how exceptions kill computers performance). If you use a conflict to manage your relationships you will drain yourself. You cannot perform well when you are drained. You cannot perform well when you are out of good positive energy.
  • Set conflict boundaries. You must know when it is time for conflict. It is just fine to start a conflict. It does not have to be a street fight. Setting clear boundaries for a conflict is the best way to avoid it. If you manage to avoid conflict effectively you can invest your energy on productive work – like blogging, reading, loving.
  • Is it your conflict? Is it? If the solution of the conflict is not under your control it is not your conflict – escalate it to your manager, ignore it. Just do not be part of it. If it is not your conflict your do not have to spend your energy in resolving it.

I am at peace with God. My conflict is with Man – Charlie Chaplin

Self Test

  • What do you feel when in conflict? Can you perform optimally?
  • What is less draining – avoiding the conflict or resolving it?
  • Tried to set conflict boundaries? Did it help to avoid a conflict?

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This blog is dedicated to share simple practices I that get me results.

5 Comments on "Can Conflict Improve Your Personal Performance?"

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  1. Alik,
    I don’t agree that we have to ignore others conflict. If the conflict not mine but in my boundaries or even may influence me or my work, I think I should be part of it and spend energy. It’s my interest.

    as always, great post!

  2. alik levin says:

    Thanks for dropping a line!
    If the conflict affects you, your should spend your energy on getting the right person getting involved. If the conflict’s solution is out of your control, like budget decisions, then you would spend tons of energy for nothing.

    Thanks for kind words! :)

  3. J.D. Meier says:

    Setting boundaries for conflict is a great move.

    You can set the boundaries by time, time, or trade-off.

    For example, you can fix style conflicts and rule conflicts, but value conflicts are tough.

  4. alik levin says:

    Great breakdown!
    Good point wrt value conflicts. Since such conflicts are usually out of my control (it is almost imposible to change other guy values) I either try to avoid it or adopt her values which criples mine. The later gets me into conflict with myself….

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