Three Excuses People Give for Avoiding Conflict

By the numbers

The clerk used the most common conflict resolution style used in the business world today, avoidance. People can be difficult or uncomfortable dealing with seemingly negative situations. They make excuses for not getting involved. Here are three of the most popular excuses:

1. The situation will blow over.

By walking away, the clerk may have assumed these adults would not resort to such childish behavior. The clerk probably thought once the couple walked out of the photo booth nothing more would have been said or done other than a sneer at each other.

2. It's not worth my involvement.

Many times we focus on other problems thinking those situations are more important. This could be a salesperson that ignores one disgruntled customer to give more attention to a higher volume customer or the manager ignoring the needs of a coworker because a high-level report is due. Whatever the case, the internal or external customer will interpret the avoidance as meaning they are not as important as other aspects of one's business.

3. There's nothing I can do about it.

When a person feels the cause is hopeless, avoiding the customer seems like a preferred time management tool. However the disgruntled customer never lets the situation drop completely. Instead they will tell an average of 11 friends and coworkers about their poor treatment.

Think about the receptionist that ignores the fact that co-workers no longer bring special projects for him or her to do. The receptionist is not likely to think it is because of poor work on past projects or that people have found the receptionist to be difficult to work with. The coworkers will find other resources to get the help they need with special projects. Eventually the coworkers wonder why the receptionist is even on the payroll. As the receptionist continues to ignore the situation, management eventually realizes that they need a new receptionist who will be a team player. The receptionist is then fired. Likewise, a salesperson that ignores the fact that Mrs. Jones no longer buys from him or her and figures there is nothing that can be done to regain the business could be right.

However not doing something means Mrs. Jones will tell up to a dozen others why they shouldn't do business either.

This is an excerpt from “Life’s Leadership Lessons” a collection of 53 anecdotal leadership lessons, each with an anecdote and the application of the topic in your everyday life. It is designed for use in weekly staff meetings or for personal development.

©2007 Max Impact Corporation