Eliminate Friction Does unnecessary friction drive you mad with frustration? Take a gander at the A.R.T. of Conflict here below to adopt a path that will help you eliminate friction, navigate conflict with grace and power, and clear your path of relational landmines. Enjoy the ride!

Hello! I’m Dr. Lisa Hale, and I’ve had enlightening discussions with many of my senior leader clients about a concept known as “The Art of Conflict.” (By the way, these skills are critical to being a rockstar leader. Check out your High Achieving Leader score here: LEADER-SCORE)

Watch the video below.

Great Teams Eliminate Friction

This concept is encapsulated in the acronym “ART,” where:

  • A stands for Acknowledgement or Appreciation,
  • R represents Restating Your Commitment, and
  • T signifies Tracking Your Agreements.

The Art of Conflict is particularly useful in conversations that might be even slightly contentious. This approach helps manage discussions where challenges are addressed, expectations are set, or in instances where something didn’t go as planned. It’s a powerful tool in fostering high-performing teams and achieving what we call “team synchrony” or “dynamic team performance.”

How Does It Work?

Let’s explore this through a personal example involving one of my three sons. Imagine he’s returned from college and left dishes in the sink overnight. Addressing this, I might say:

“Sweetheart, I appreciate your exhaustion post-finals and understand the overwhelming nature of chores like dishwashing. You’re often willing to help, which I value. However, I’m committed to maintaining a peaceful, fun home environment, especially when you’re here from college. Part of this commitment involves keeping our spaces, like the kitchen, tidy. Remember our agreement to clean up immediately after cooking? It’s important for ensuring a pleasant experience for everyone using the kitchen.”

This conversation exemplifies the ART approach:

  • Acknowledge and Appreciate: Recognize their state and find something positive.
  • Restate Commitment: Communicate your commitment to them and the environment.
  • Track Agreements: Remind or establish agreements.

For instance, a leader I advised today needed to collaborate with another team. I suggested acknowledging the dedication of the other team leader and understanding the challenges of the task. Then, restate your commitment to the organization, team, and collaboration. Finally, track or create agreements by discussing how to fulfill organizational requirements effectively and stress-free.


The Art of Conflict is a strategy for enhancing team performance and synchrony. It involves thoughtful communication, acknowledgment of others’ efforts and feelings, reiterating personal or professional commitments, and establishing clear agreements to navigate challenging situations constructively.

Thank you for tuning in to this brief overview of The Art of Conflict. Until next time…






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