Many entrepreneurs are not prepared for conflict, or actively avoid it. Their vision, passion, and focus are so strong that they can’t imagine someone disagreeing, much less fighting them to the death. But the reality is that startups are composed of smart people, with emotions as well as intellects, working in close proximity under much pressure, so conflicts will occur.
In fact, most business conflict is constructive and should be embraced in steering through the maze of innovation and change that is part of every successful business. Surround yourself with
“yes” people, and you may feel good initially, but the brick walls no one mentions will hurt later.
On the other extreme, constant and unmanaged conflict will quickly drive your startup to be dysfunctional. Here are a few simple rules of thumb toward constructive conflict resolution that I espouse, as summarized from a book by Peter T. Coleman, “The Five Percent: Finding Solutions to Seemingly Impossible Conflicts:”
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