Conflict in the workplace is usually not all that common, but it tends to absorb a disproportionate part of our emotional energy.
Recognize when not to fight.
If it doesn’t really matter, don’t fight.
If the prospective opponent is two or more levels below you in the organization, don’t fight.
If you are bound to lose, don’t fight.
Standing up for the right in a noble losing cause is all well and good. But the reality is that if you don’t fight losing battles people will tread warily around you – call it respect or call it fear – and you won’t have to fight many.
Obey the local norms of conflict if you can.
Don’t escalate unthinkingly.
Don’t fight dirty if you can avoid it.
Don’t be the biggest gangster or the biggest patsy.