Many people associate conflict with negativity, but conflict doesn’t have to be unpleasant; it can even be enjoyable. Conflict when used in a constructive way, can bring forth great outcomes and ideas, often benefiting those who are involved by exposing them to alternative perspectives.

Yesterday, while watching the daily news, I saw a commercial that caught my attention. In order to win over new customers, this organization is using a strategy that I like very much. Their approach is creative, it’s innovative, and was sure their competitors would need to respond to this advertising campaign in some form or fashion to maintain market share.

However, after seeing this advertisement a second time, I came to the realization that this “new” approach is classic conflict avoidance. Take a look at this video clip. Can you see where I’m coming from?

Now, please correct me if I’m totally off base, (I’ll be confident and say I’m not), but don’t the fundamentals of business acumen tell us that competition is good? In a situation like this we should want to create a little constructive conflict, forcing these two companies to battle over our business. If we ask Allstate to “break up” with our existing insurance provider for us because we’re too uncomfortable to handle the situation ourselves, we’ll never know whether the current insurance provider would be able to match the offer, or offer a better deal, ultimately saving use the hassle of switching insurance providers. Come on people. Buck up! Step out of your comfort zone and grow a little! Given this type of situation, the customer has all the power. If you add a little conflict to the mix, these two companies will need to compete for your business, “sweetening the deal,” and offering you greater gains. One company claims that it can “save you serious cash,” but the other company wants to retain business and compete for your business. Keeping a customer is much easier than winning a new one. Two companies knowingly vying for our business puts us in a great position, but if your existing insurance company gets a call from Allstate, “saving you that uncomfortable break-up moment,” your opportunity for beneficial conflict has been lost, and so has your power as a consumer.

Confront conflict head on; avoidance never hurt anybody but you.

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About the Author
Chris Stowell
Christopher Stowell is currently serving as CMOE’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing where he works with multi-national organization to develop their people. His special interests lie in coaching teamwork, strategy, e-learning, and assessment design, and delivery. Chris has a special talent in helping companies assess their organizational effectiveness and identifying key issues and opportunities in order to advance their performance and achieve long term results. Additionally, he has extensive experience in designing, coordinating, and facilitating customized adventure based experiential training events for high performance teams.

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