Don't change who you are. Be more of who you are - Sally Hogshead
The Power of Conflict by Jon Taffer
The Power of Conflict by Jon Taffer

The Power of Conflict by Jon Taffer

Own your own failures and you will own your success – Jon Taffer

Who likes conflict? Seriously. Which of us relishes conflict with friends, family, or co-workers? If you’ve seen any of Jon Taffer’s shows (Bar Rescue, Marriage Rescue or Restaurant Rivals) you might assume he does…that he’s someone just looking for conflict. However, when you read his newest book, The Power of Conflict, you will realize that rather than pursuing conflict, Taffer defines his approach as acting affirmatively in the face of conflict. This may seem alien to those of us waiting for conflict to arise on its own but it avoids the predictable result of  falling prey to the natural response that is often disproportionate to the situation.

Perhaps, what is most intriguing in this book is Taffer’s focus on the value that a conflict can bring. That is to say that while some of us avoid conflict, it can actually have a valuable role in the organization and in our personal lives. Taffer actually describes how his career and professional life has advanced because of his willingness to engage in conflict. We need to understand that conflict offers the opportunity to evoke emotional ties that we have built facing adversity with our closest family, friends, and colleagues. Conversely, avoiding conflict can become toxic to our relationships and our workplaces. Interestingly, Taffer shares a model for living and working together that was developed onboard Russia’s Salyut 7 Space Station. These astronauts had to find a way to work (and live) together in a confined space for an extended period of time. As you consider how to utilize conflict, remember the following:

  1. Follow the head…not the heart.

2. Don’t speak or act hastily.

3. If others are wrong, then hold out your hand. If you are wrong…admit it.

4. Teammates deserve your respect.

5. Hold on to self-control.

6. Success depends on us.

7. We are capable of completing this mission.

This is one of those books that provide practical guidelines for keeping our conversations real. If we prepare and consider Taffer’s words, we’ll find ourselves armed with the confidence and skills to move through the current conflict and accomplish the goals and missions required for success.