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You don’t have to be afraid of conflict or difficult conversations because you can become a conflict-intelligent person.

Entrepreneurs need conflict intelligence. Why? Because many people are afraid to deal with conflict. This fear is simply from a lack of conflict intelligence, but you can learn how to shift your perspective on dealing with conflict and your response to conflict.

It is important to note that not all conflict is bad, but not all conflict is good. The key is knowing how to transform it.

As an entrepreneur,  you are a personal brand. Everything that you do and say is a reflection of your business. Thus the importance of managing relationships within your team, with your clients, and with your community so that you can build rapport and the perception you want others to have of you.

Before understanding conflict intelligence, it is important to understand emotional Intelligence

Yvette used the example of her client and how he didn’t see himself as intelligent. Meanwhile, he had overcome a lot of adversity and started a business while working as a dishwasher. Yvette pointed out to him that he did have emotional intelligence. He built it to have the resiliency and to be aware of his emotions to move him forward versus holding him back. In addition, he had the ability to work with other people, be sensitive to other people to be able to have a partner and work for someone else while building a business on the side.

As the client’s confidence grew, he began to be able to communicate with his partner and resolve conflicts that arose. He was able to start to see things as opportunities versus conflict.

Emotional and conflict intelligence is working from the inside out to handle situations.

Very seldom is there a course in school that educates on conflict resolution?

Often times we develop a framework for handling conflict based on what we’ve seen or experienced. As a result, people don’t learn to handle conflict effectively. For example, if a parent handles conflict poorly, their child will only know what they’ve seen their parent do in response to conflict and will ultimately respond in a similar way.  The more you ascend in leadership, the more you need to have conflict intelligence to build relationships with others.

Robyn emphasized that because of neuroplasticity, we can change how we process conflict and address it in a more peaceful way.

Three key methods to handling conflict


There are many levels of self-awareness in a broad spectrum. People tend to think that they have self-awareness, but often it is less than what they originally thought because of the different levels of self-awareness. Implicit bias is a good example. If you have a brain, you have bias, but you work on identifying it and changing it. The same holds true for self-awareness.

There are multiple ways you can see and deal with conflict. It is important to note the escalating process you’ve used as you handled conflict.

There are many levels of skills necessary to change how you respond to conflict. Some people may have the skills already, and some may have them but aren’t using them based on the work they do or the goals they have in their careers or workplace. Once they know how to use the skills to address conflict, some people may be able to go on and be great leaders, others may need more work to change how they deal with conflict.

As entrepreneurs, we have many different opportunities to lead others. When you are authentically you, you are more likely to be self-aware and behave as a leader.

Retooling the brain

Adapting the skills so that you are thinking differently and your brain responds accordingly. This includes neuroplasticity and changing the neuropathways in the brain. Changing from how you formerly behaved or responded to conflict to having a higher conflict intelligence.   And sometimes, there are people who need more than skill sets to adapt their behaviors in response to conflict because they have been rewarded for poor behavior when responding to conflict. Some CEOs fall into this group of people. Maybe their behavior isn’t good but they are bringing money into the organization so their poor behavior is ignored.

If we aren’t looking at the human being and are only looking at the business as is on paper, we won’t be able to achieve success or conflict resolution.

Behavior Modification

Behaviors create muscle memory. Therefore, it often takes a mediator to help navigate behaviors in order to recognize and change them. Behavior change leads to opportunity and can help build stronger relationships. Businesses that succeed, are businesses that are good to their employees.

When we help develop humans within our organizations, we set our businesses up for success. This also helps you navigate conflict when it arises.

Awareness is the key to transformation.

About Yvette Durazo

Yvette Durazo is the author of Conflict Intelligence (Conflict-IQ) The Missing Piece to Turbocharge Leaders’ and Organizations’ Emotional intelligence. She is the principal consultant of Unitive Consulting, a workplace organizational effectiveness, strategic conflict management, and leadership development firm. Ms. Durazo brings innovative techniques to promote a positive workplace culture in organizations to encourage trust, productive human capital engagement, and inclusion. Clients benefit from her wealth of knowledge and professional experience in the art of building a trusting workplace relationship. Some of her services included training, mediating, conflicts in the workplace, anti-bullying prevention, settlement negotiations, developing dispute system design, and bringing unique strategies to address the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) workplace.

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Website for Yvette Durazo

If you are in the beginning stages of starting a business, download my free eBook on my success equation for starting, growing, and scaling a business for long-term success. It all begins with a solid foundation.

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