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The Good Fight


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Table of Contents

Part I: The Case for Conflict
Chapter 1: Conflict Debt
The Importance of Conflict
Conflict Debt
Identify the Conflict Debt in Your Business
The Interest
Conflict Debt in Your Teams
The Cost to You Personally
Time to Make a Payment
Chapter 2: Conflict Aversion and Avoidance
What is Conflict Aversion?
Where Does Conflict Aversion Come From?
Conflict Aversion versus Conflict Avoidance
Chapter 3: A New Conflict Mindset
The Case Against Conflict
Kind is The New Nice
Get Off the Sidelines
Work Through the Emotion
Speak Truth to Power
A New Mindset
Part II: The Conflict Code
Chapter 4: Establish a Line of Communication
Engage Early
Building Trust
Increasing Your Trust in Others
Chapter 5: Create a Connection
Allies Not Adversaries
Facts Don't Solve Fights
Insights from Information
Follow the Emotion
Going for Gold: Uncovering People's Values and Beliefs
The Benefits of Getting to the Values
Creating a Connection
Chapter 6: Contribute to a Solution
Problems Not Solutions
Two Truths
Root Cause
Question the Impact
Own the Misunderstanding
Common Criteria
Part III: Codifying Conflict
Chapter 7: The "U"
The U Tool
Common Issues
Other Issues to Explore
Using the U with the Government Team
Chapter 8: Normalize Tension
The Tarp
Learning from the Tarp
Common Issues
Chapter 9: The Conflict Habit
The Conflict Habit
Habit #1: Clarify Expectations
Habit #2: Introduce Diversity
Habit #3: Improve your feedback
Habit #4: Use humor and code words
Habit #5: Encourage productive conflict in meetings
Part IV: Try This at Home
Chapter 10: Try This at Home
Productive Conflict with Partners
Raising Conflict-resilient Kids
Volunteer Teams And Everywhere Else
Appendix A: How to Fill Out the U Template
Appendix B: How to Fill Out the Tarp Template

About the Author

Dr. Liane Davey is a New York Times Bestselling author, a regular contributor to the Harvard Business Review, and the host of the ChangeYourTeam blog. As the co-founder of 3COze Inc., she advises on business strategy and executive team effectiveness and has worked with executives at companies such as Amazon, Walmart, Aviva, TD Bank, and SONY PlayStation. Liane has a Ph.D. in Organizational Psychology and has served as an evaluator for the American Psychological Association's Healthy Workplace Awards. Liane is married to her business partner, Craig, and they have two teenaged daughters.


"In this terrific book, Liane Davey delivers a surprising and bracing message: Conflict is good for us. It can improve performance, help teams bond, and enrich the workplace. What matters is how you harness conflict to address tough topics and make hard decisions. If you feel like your organization is mired in a rut, you might need a good fight-and you definitely need The Good Fight."
-DANIEL H. PINK, author of When and Drive

"Liane Davey has long been a secret weapon of the C-Suite. With The Good Fight, any leader can learn how to get their teams unstuck and working together again. Through humor and practical examples, Liane's book shows how even the most conflict-avoidant leaders can use productive conflict to resolve the issues that have been holding them back. Save yourself the stress and start applying her methods today."
-SHAWN LAYDEN, chairman, Sony Interactive Entertainment Worldwide Studios

"For most leaders and teams, conflict is treated as something to avoid at all costs-instead of a path toward greater understanding, engagement, and success. Through practical examples, Davey gives us the right words so we might approach conflict as an ally rather than an adversary. I highly recommend The Good Fight for anyone leading a team. As many of us would agree, normalizing healthy conflict in the workplace is something that is long overdue."
-DR. MARLA GOTTSCHALK, industrial/organizational psychologist and LinkedIn Influencer

"The Good Fight is an essential field guide that any leader can use to prevent drama before it starts. Davey provides practical and repeatable processes you can use to disarm people's egos, resolve the conflicts on your team, and restore sanity to your organization."
-CY WAKEMAN, drama researcher, New York Times-bestselling author of No Ego, and founder of reality-based leadership

"Whether you're an organization of 10 or 10,000, the best solutions emerge when people feel comfortable sharing their ideas, even when what they have to say challenges the status quo. In The Good Fight, Davey shows leaders how to facilitate the productive, healthy conflict that's needed for teams to fully engage and give their best to the organization."
-HOWARD BEHAR, former president, Starbucks International, and author of It's Not about the Coffee: Lessons on Putting People First from a Life at Starbucks

"We feel the pain of having a conflict immediately. But the pain of avoiding a conflict is insidious and invisible, like a toxic gas. In The Good Fight, Liane Davey shows us how to clear the air without causing an explosion."
-KIM SCOTT, New York Times-bestselling author of Radical Candor: Be a Kick-Ass Boss without Losing Your Humanity

"Growing up among eight siblings, my mother always taught me to 'use my words, not my fists' whenever there was conflict. This advice not only helped me out of a jam, but taught me not to back down if things needed to be said. Productive conflict resolution had begun! In Liane Davey's new book, The Good Fight, she uses her twenty-five years of team-building experience to effectively teach people how to resolve conflict the right way-head on! Her practical strategies are purposeful and wise, and will help create healthy habits, build trust within your team, and increase the bottom line! An excellent read!"
-DAVID M.R. COVEY, coauthor of Trap Tales: Outsmarting the 7 Hidden Obstacles to Success

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