N4L 144: "The Good Fight" by Liane Davey


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By Janet Perry, Janet Perry: blogger, and Nonfiction book lover. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.


In her newest book, The Good Fight: Use Productive Conflict to Get Your Team and Your Organization Back on Track, Liane Davey explodes the myth that “conflict” is a bad word or something to be avoided. She boldly claims, "Organizations require conflict." Without it, stagnation and resentment settle into the cracks of an original issue, making it hard to move forward. Even though conflict aversion seems to be baked into how we’re socialized, we can learn strategies for “fighting” in a productive, healthy way.


  • Instead of "the good fight," conflict is translated into passive aggression.
  • Societal messages teach us we should avoid conflict: “Mind your own business. Don’t upset her. Stay out of trouble. Bullying is bad. If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.”
  • Conflict tends to be the least costly way of working through issues.
  • Conflict debt: the sum of all the contentious issues that need to be addressed to be able to move forward but instead remain undiscussed and unresolved
  • A wide predictor of the success of teams is how many women are on the team.
  • Three-step strategy for managing conflict: validate; ask question(s); pivot


  • “At its essence, conflict is just the struggle between opposing wants, needs, and demands.”
  • “Conflict isn't bad for organizations; it's fundamental to them."
  • “Don’t measure the health of your relationship based on whether you have conflict or not. Instead, pay attention to the quality of the conflict.”
  • “The longer you leave the original problem unresolved, the more interest you pay.”

BUY The Good Fight: Use Productive Conflict to Get Your Team and Organization Back on Track


Find “new approaches for resolving conflicts, creating new common ground, and achieving greater levels of intimacy” in Dr. John Gottman’s New York Times bestseller.

BUY The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work: A Practical Guide from the Country's Foremost Relationship Expert

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