9 Ways that the Fear of Conflict Kills and Destroys

Fearing Conflict

Some people and organizations hate conflict.

They fear:

  1. Discomfort
  2. Disagreements
  3. Judgmental words
  4. Explosive behavior
  5. Relationships struggling or ending

Then they allow that fear to drive their results!

  • Some feel victimized by the past and hold so tightly to those emotions that they experience less joy and less productivity.
  • Others have rumbling fires of anger burning about present issues. Occasionally smoke seeps out as they vent to those closest to them. As those fires continue to grow everyone is at risk of their eventual eruption.
  • Some are unwilling to learn an alternative way of dealing with conflict.
  • Others don’t realize there is an alternative.
  • And none realize that their choice to wait for the other party to change, is spreading growth-eating bacteria throughout their organization.

9 Ways that the fear of conflict kills and destroys:

  1. The ability to consider the needs of others is replaced with “self” first
  2. Comfort zones become more important than the mission
  3. Small problems are unaddressed and become big ones
  4. New opportunities are avoided
  5. Collaboration decreases
  6. Energy, engagement and hope fade
  7. Growth declines
  8. People leave
  9. It becomes harder and harder to simply maintain

Learning how to engage in healthy conflict:

  1. Builds confidence while increasing compassion
  2. Keeps the focus on the mission
  3. Limits the growth of problems
  4. Unleashes opportunities
  5. Fosters collaboration
  6. Generates energy, engagement and hope
  7. Fuels growth
  8. Entices people
  9. Multiplies possibilities and creates a stronger future

While no single conversation is guaranteed to change the trajectory of a career, a business, a marriage, or a life, any single conversation can.  -Susan Scott

Want to learn how to have healthy conflict?   Check out the resources below:

  1. Silos, Politics and Turf Wars
  2. The Anatomy of Peace Book
  3. Peacemakers Study
  4. Fierce Conversations

Want to experience healthy and productive conflict?

Healthy ConflictA Conversation Safari is a workshop that merges the spirit and adventure of a real safari with an opportunity to dialogue with and learn from those that think differently than you do. …Helping you turn unaligned agendas & conflict into an adventure that fuels problem solving.

Conversation Safari’s are designed to help participants BALANCE the use of their brains AND their hearts. Resulting a dialogue that is fueled by critical thinking AND compassion.

Attendees leave with increased understanding, energy and hope.


Contact Chery to learn more about Conversation Safari’s.  Chery Gegelman Keynotes and Workshops

President, Giana Consulting

Chery Gegelman is an adventurer that loves to learn. ...Deep conversations, books, travel, and daily living are all food for growth.

As a speaker, facilitator and workshop leader she creates energizing environments that reflect God's grace, tear down walls, help people to consider new perspectives, and inspire change.

Chery is the Founder of Giana Consulting and Conversation Safari's, listed as a Great Leadership Speaker by Inc., writes a recognized leadership blog and has co-authored two leadership books.

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6 thoughts on “9 Ways that the Fear of Conflict Kills and Destroys

  1. I love your post, Chery! Conflict is such a tricky subject but if we try to shove it under the rug it will just make things worse. This is what I have noticed with my workshops:
    Toxic conflict can derail even the strongest team.

    When people don’t address how they are feeling and don’t share the conflict in a healthy way it usually comes out as an attack.

    When conflict is addressed and people are encouraged to just listen to the other person’s point of view so much is resolved. Listening without judging is key.

    Thanks Chery!

    • Thank you Terri! I am with you! (I am a recovering under the rug shover!)

      It is hard to imagine that the word conflict could actually bring good things. But it can and it does – when you learn not to fear it!

  2. Thanks so much for this article with it’s great list of resources! I am working with a couple of clients right now who run from conflict…this can become a problem anywhere/anytime on the ladder of success….

    • So true LaRae! There are so many organizations that are struggling because titled leadership won’t step into the tension and address issues that are growing. In some cases this has gone on so long you can hear the death rattle. In other cases they had to close the doors and turn off the lights forever.