Recognize Your Natural Tendency

There are generally two types of people: those who avoid conflict and those who seek it. Neither style is better or worse, so instead of beating yourself up for being resistant to conflict or being drawn to it, accept that you have a default approach, says Amy Jen Su, an executive coach. Knowing which style is your (and eventually your counterpart’s) natural tendency allows you to make smart choices about how to address the conflict and, if you decide to confront it, have a constructive conversation.

Of course, it’s rare for a person to avoid conflict or seek it out all of the time. It’s more likely that you adjust your style based on the context (are you at home or at work?); whom you’re having the conflict ...

Get HBR Guide to Dealing with Conflict (HBR Guide Series) now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from nearly 200 publishers.