Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 8th 2017 Contents BG14 | BIZ TIPS
BUSINESS GUARDIAN guardian.co.tt JUNE 8 • 2017
Do you seek
conflict, or avoid
it?When it comes to conflict, there
are two types of people: those who
avoid it and those who seek it out.
Avoiders tend to shy away from dis-
They prize harmony and rela-
tionships with their co-workers.
Seekers are eager to engage in con-
flict. They tend to care most about
directness and honesty. Neither
style is better, and your default
depends on a lot of things: your
past experiences with conflict,
organisational context and even
Knowing which style you grav-
itate toward will help you make a
conscious choice about how to ad-
dress a disagreement. If you're an
avoider, for example, your instinct
may be to ignore the situation. But
knowing that it's your natural ten-
dency can help you overcome your
resistance to addressing the issue.
(Adapted from the "HBR Guide
to Dealing With Conflict," by Amy
Yes, you really can
do that thing
you're scared of
It's normal to feel powerless
when you're in a new situation.
But most people are far more ad-
aptable than they give themselves
To prepare yourself to do some-
thing that scares you, think back
to things you've already done that
took guts; maybe it was switch-
ing jobs, or moving to a new city.
If you're nervous about going to
a networking event, think about
all the people you already interact
Do you speak to your boss the
same way you do your colleagues?
Do your interactions with your in-
laws take the same form as those
with your friends from college?
Probably not. That means you can
adapt to new situations. Focusing
on the strengths you already have
can give you the courage to do new
things. (Adapted from "You're More
Resilient Than You Give Yourself
Credit For," by Andy Molinsky.)
your company to
Too many leaders use sports analo-
gies to try to motivate their employ-
ees. The fact is, sports are a terrible
metaphor for business. Why? First,
what makes football or basketball so
exhilarating is that each game and each
season has only one winner. In business
virtually every industry has room for
plenty of winners.
The most successful companies wor-
ry less about crushing the competition
than about delighting their customers.
Second, teamwork in most sports hap-
pens among players whose careers are
short and whose loyalties last for the
duration of their contracts.
Companies should be focused on
the long term --- on attracting the best
people in their fields and on creating
an environment where great people do
their best work year after year.
(Adapted from "Why Sports Are a
Terrible Metaphor for Business," by
Simple ways to read
(a lot) more books
How can you fit reading into your al-
ready hectic schedule? Start by publicly
committing to reading more. Research
shows that telling others you're going
to do something makes you more likely
to follow through.
So open a Goodreads or Reco ac-
count, and update your profile every
time you finish a book. Don't make
yourself slog through a book if you
aren't getting something out of it.
Think of quitting a book as a way to
make room for that gem you're going to
read next. Most important, keep a book
with you at all times. Instead of check-
ing Facebook when you're standing in
the grocery line, read a few pages here
and there. They'll add up.
(Adapted from "8 Ways to Read (a
Lot) More Books This Year," by Neil
Having emotional intelligence, or EI,
is an important part of being a strong-
er, more effective leader. But too many
people assume that it's all about being
sweet and chipper.
Sure, some EI competencies are re-
lated to sociability and sensitivity, but
others are connected to leadership skills
like achievement, influence and con-
The key is to have a balance. If you're
strong in some of the softer, emotional
skills, then focus on honing skills like
giving unpleasant feedback.
For example, rather than using your
EI to smooth over interactions with a
co-worker who is abrasive, work on
bringing up the issue to your colleague
directly, drawing on conflict manage-
ment to give direct feedback.
(Adapted from "Emotional Intelli-
gence Has 12 Elements. Which Do You
Need to Work On?" by Daniel Goleman
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