Q: I am not sure if it is better to face or run away from conflicts with people, especially those that seriously impact my private and professional lives. I get very affected by their words and behaviours, so much so that it gives me sleepless nights. Currently, I try to avoid them by sweeping them ‘under the carpet’. When this method works I get temporary relief,  but the conflict usually gets bigger and bigger. How can I avoid getting into conflicts? Is there a more effective way of handling them?

A: The first thing to accept is conflicts are a natural phenomenon. I do not think there is anyone in the world who lives in a no-conflict zone all their lives. Some conflicts are small, creating only minor irritations where brushing them aside may be the best thing to do. But there are bigger conflicts that require attention and cannot be swept aside. You need to gauge what is the magnitude of the conflict you are in so that you know what to do with them.

There are some time-tested ways in handling big conflicts. If a conflict arises out of a lack of trust between you and someone else, and if this person is important to you, it is best you prove your innocence through evidence so that you end it once and for all. If it is more than the trust factor, face up to it, to resolve it with both parties’ interests in mind. If this still does not work, get an outside party who is capable and impartial to mediate on it.


  • What is the magnitude of your conflict?
  • How disruptive is it to your life?
  • What will happen if you avoid it?
  • What is one good way to get it solved so that it does bother you anymore?

Check out our Coach Leadership programs.  They cover tools and techniques to be a better conversationist: to manage conflicts, manage performance and manage people more effectively.

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