Conflict is a central theme of our lives. We see the negative consequences of
war and violence all around us. Even in the workplace, disputes and
arguments cause problems and stifle productivity. But opposition can also be
positive. For instance, our muscles become stronger as they encounter
resistance. The bonds of our relationships can become stronger as we strive
to overcome our differences. Likewise, says author Darby Checketts,
businesses and organizations can become stronger as a result of conflict.
Postive Conflict is a book that goes beyond coping with or handling workplace
conflict; its premise is that conflict is often an indicator that creative energy
is about to be unleashed. There is potentially positive power inside
opposition, just as with the fusion of atoms. When opposing ideas are openly
explored, a breakthrough in thinking can occur, which can reveal more
comprehensive solutions. And the coming together of these once-opposing
forces multiplies the potential for success.
If our view of conflict transcends a win-lose mentality, we will see that the
flipside of opposition is the opportunity for discovery and innovation. And in
business today, we need leaders who can reconcile the seeming exclusivity
of competing ideas and fuse them for new and better results. For example, it
is the combination of self-confidence and humility that maximizes a leader’s
By reading Postive Conflict, you will:
• Recognize the creative energy inside conflict to unleash the power of
• Discover why the optimist’s answer to everything is “yes”—that the issue is
not what is right or wrong, but how to synthesize ideas to expand
• Help your stakeholders come together in a spirit of partnership to move
beyond special interests and personality clashes.
• Understand that your own conflicting ideas and viewpoints reveal new
dimensions of who you are and the range of opportunities that await you.
Darby Checketts is the president of Cornerstone Professional Development
of Mesa, Arizona, which he founded in 1985. He is known by his clients as a
powerful catalyst for innovation, high performance leadership, and service
excellence. He is the author of eight other books, including Leverage: How to
Create Your Own “Tipping Points” in Business and in Life. His work has
influenced hundreds of organizations and millions of individuals around the
world. His corporate career includes management positions at Ford Motor
Company and Digital Equipment Corporation.