Chapter 6. Managing Conflict

There can be no change without conflict. Read that sentence again. It’s that important.

Disagreement, controversy, and conflict are the most formidable challenges you’ll face as a rebel. There are ways to manage controversy, but there are no ways to avoid it. Great outcomes involve some kind of controversy.

You’ve no doubt experienced the struggles that go with having unusual and unpopular views. You may have been in a messy, controversial situation and didn’t know how to turn it around. The messiness was overwhelming and the stress was horrible. Some of you may even have been in the awful situation of being thrown under the bus when your tireless efforts on behalf of a good idea got you tangled up in a major conflict at work. Good ideas are rarely welcomed without disagreement or controversy.

In this chapter, we’ll share some useful ways of minimizing conflict and preparing for it, and tactics to use when it erupts. Of all the chapters in this book, this is the one that we most wish someone had given us when we were starting our careers.

Get Rebels at Work now with O’Reilly online learning.

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