3 Reasons to “Embrace Conflict”…Professionally and Personally


A conversation with Richard Fagerlin at the SHRM Leadership Development Forum

Admit it, so many of us are guilty of it. In our roles as leaders, managers, parents, and spouses. We avoid conflict. We leave the preverbal rocks unturned by taking the long route to the break room to avoid a co-worker, hold our tongues in meeting to keep the peace, and develop any number of excuses to avoid that “hard conversation” with the very people we are expected to lead. We do all of these things - and more - to avoid conflict.  That’s normal, and healthy, right? Well, according to Richard Fagerlin, it’s not that simple.  Conflict, “healthy conflict” as he calls it, can be a good thing.  In your role as an HR professional, as a leader, and in your personal life, living in what Richard has dubbed “artificial harmony” only leads to more conflict. 

Richard was one of dozens of amazing speakers at SHRM’s Leadership Development Forum in Seattle, Washington this September.  I had the opportunity to sit down with him after his sessions, and in this video interview, Richard shares three very compelling reasons why HR leaders should “embrace conflict” in both their personal and professional lives.   

#1- Embracing conflict provides an opportunity to clarify –Richard shares that addressing conflict can lead to a breakthrough in a relationship through a better understanding of what the real problem may be. 



#2- Embracing conflict allows you to keep an eye on the mission- Richard shares how it’s HR’s job to “align daily interactions with strategy” and in doing so, how to have those “hard conversations” and why they are critical to the overall mission. 




#3- Embracing conflict helps us grow as leaders- Beyond mission, Richard explains how embracing and resolving conflict can help us grow professionally, and connect personally.  



Richard Fagerlin has been a featured speaker at several SHRM conferences – including multiple SHRM Annual Conferences.  He’s an author and CEO of Peak Solutions and travels around internationally as a trainer, facilitator and motivational speaker.  You can follow him on Twitter at @richardfagerlin.   


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