Having conflict at work is inevitable. With all of us managing so many competing prioritiesnegotiating limited resources, and aiming to be both tactical and strategic, it’s amazing that any work gets done at all. And despite the fact that so many situational, organizational, and systemic issues in our companies contribute to our stress, we tend to point to other people as the problem.

We ask “who screwed this up?” rather than “what’s going on?” We complain that “Jon didn’t tell us what this project’s all about” rather advocate that “the team would benefit from additional context”. We claim, “Dana is impossible to pin down” rather than inquiring, “who can help me get on Dana’s calendar?” These approaches are unproductive, and undermine relationships and outcomes.