Destructive conflict response #3 – CAVING IN

Giving in to something after originally opposing.

Caving is in tempting; it feels like the quickest path to end a disagreement. Though, it typically means you sacrifice your legitimate rights. The pain of conflict can cause us to take shelter in this option.

This short-term gain, however, comes at the expense of long-term resolution and creates unbalanced, unhealthy power dynamics in your relationships.

Thoughts that lead to caving in:
• I don’t want to upset anyone.
• Putting up a fight just isn’t worth it.

To overcome caving in:

• Do I often let others have their way to avoid interpersonal discomfort?
• Will I be satisfied with the outcome if I give in again, or will I be resentful?

• “If I speak up, this could get messy. I’ll just go with the flow.”
• Try: “Healthy conflict is productive and leads to better results. It’s important I share my viewpoint.”

CHOOSE to be open and honest about your concerns, ideas, or opposing views. Healthy conflict is shown to increase commitment and accountability.

Commit to REFLECT, REFRAME, and CHOOSE a new perspective.

Destructive conflict response #2 – BELITTLING

Making someone feel unimportant.

There’s no one-size-fits-all reason why people belittle others. Some people are unaware of their behavior and may say a person is too sensitive, or dismiss it as humor, if brought up.

People may belittle because they have unresolved anger toward a person. Other times the behavior is rooted in insecurity; putting others down to lift themselves up.

Regardless, it’s important to realize belittling behavior destroys relationships.

Thoughts that lead to belittling:
• I’m going to make you look like a fool
• I’m going to show your idea doesn’t matter

To overcome belittling:

• Have I been accused of putting someone down? Do I tend to rationalize it?
• Do I have unresolved resentment toward this person?
• Am I struggling with insecurities this person triggers?

• “He/She is being so sensitive.”
• Try: “Maybe I’m not coming across as I intend.”

Explore a more respectful and tactful way to communicate. Evaluate if something should even be said. T.H.I.N.K.: Is it True, Helpful, Inspiring, Necessary, Kind?

Commit to REFLECT, REFRAME, and CHOOSE a new behavior.

Destructive conflict response #1: ARGUING


Sometimes we have so much confidence in our vision it’s frustrating when others can’t see what’s obvious to us.

As frustration grows, we defend our position aggressively. If they don’t back down, it may intensify our need to assert ourselves.

This creates unhealthy exchange centered on WINNING, not finding a SOLUTION.

It becomes about protecting our ego, putting others in their place, or giving up as little ground as possible. It’s unlikely we evaluate someone’s position objectively.

Thoughts that lead to arguing:
• There’s no way I’m backing down
• I don’t get you; I’m obviously right!

How to overcome arguing:

REFLECT. Step back from your emotions:
• Is this thought actually valid/true?
• Am I overreacting or exaggerating the problem?
• Is there another way I could look at the situation?

“They have no idea what they’re talking about.”
Try: “They’re coming at this from a very different angle than me.”


Select a productive response you don’t normally use (see graphic). Is this response easy or hard for you?

Commit to REFLECT, REFRAME, and CHOOSE a new response.

3 tips to immediately improve your LinkedIn experience

​1. Don’t comment under posts you don’t like. The LinkedIn algorithm pays attention to content you interact with and feeds you more like it!

If you post, “This is inappropriate for LinkedIn” a lot, you’re likely to be enlisted as a deputy on the LinkedIn Content Police Department.

2. Don’t complain about your LinkedIn feed, clean it up!

As you scroll your feed, if you notice certain connections liking or commenting on content you don’t enjoy, click the three dots at the top right corner of a post and select “Unfollow [Name].”

You’ll remain connected (if that’s what you want) but will no longer see them in your feed.

3. Scroll the activity tab in a person’s profile prior to accepting a connection request. Are their posts, shares, likes and comments quality or value-adding to you?

Want to give better interview answers?

​Interviewers don’t know why your outcome is a big deal – here’s how to help them:

Employer: “What is an accomplishment you’re proud of?”
Interviewee: “Last year, I was selected to join the company’s leadership development program.”

This is not high impact because relevant context isn’t provided.

Is the program exclusive, or open to anyone?

How many others were selected? Out of how many?

Were you nominated, versus applying yourself?

Let’s try again:

“Recently, I was nominated by a senior leader in the company to participate in a high potential leadership program. 264 employees were nominated, and I was one of only 10 people selected.”

Ask yourself questions to pull out RELEVANT context.

What if you don’t have numbers? Use descriptive words to characterize the result:

“I was appointed as program manager, overseeing 5 project managers on a highly confidential, enterprise-wide and business-critical shared services integration for a Fortune 100, which finished on time, within budget, and created a stronger financial position for the company.”

17% of people who interview are made an offer. Stand out with clear, crisp, relevant, compelling stories.