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How effectively do you handle dealing with enemies at work?

SmartPulse — our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Leadership — tracks feedback from more than 170,000 business leaders. We run the poll question each Tuesday in our e-newsletter.

Last week, we asked: How effectively do you handle dealing with enemies at work?

  • I’m great at it: I eliminate conflict and focus on productive work: 11.54%
  • I’m OK: Conflicts exist but I work hard to eliminate them: 65.88%
  • I’m not very good: I let conflicts go on and sometimes make them worse: 19.98%
  • I’m terrible: I provoke conflicts and do little to defuse situations: 2.61%

This job would be great if it wasn’t for the people. Conflict is inevitable. As leaders, your job is to move through it as quickly and productively as possible. That’s extraordinarily hard sometimes especially given the stresses we face. Sometimes the best thing you can do is take your “enemy” to lunch because the only way conflicts end is if we’re proactive about resolving them. Focus not on the conflict itself but rather your reaction to it. In doing so, you’re headed down the path of resolution.

Mike Figliuolo is managing director of thoughtLEADERS and author of “One Piece of Paper: The Simple Approach to Powerful, Personal Leadership.”