Good questions, Jim. And I'll be watching this thread to see the variety of responses you get.
One of the biggest weaknesses I see in businesses is ignoring conflict and the ones who are creating it No one enjoys conflict and yet often conflict can bring great discussions and needed modifications in the workplace. Sometimes a change will draw owners/managers to look at an issue they never knew existed. Everyone had been so busy ignoring (yet hating) the issue that nothing had been done until the issue erupted into a volcano.
Taking time to stop and have conversations about some conflict issue quickly can often diffuse the situation and clear the air. Yet we continue to turn our heads and close our ears to the small issues around us, hoping they will go away. Do we really think they will just disappear? Are we *that* busy that we can't take time to listen and resolve issues? Why waste time running from these conflicts? They don't go away, they just get larger and larger - and more difficult to resolve.
I totally agree with you Cath. This is also the reason that many employers feel that their employees are not as dedicated as the ones who worked earlier for the company. Today, most of us simply try to finish out our work instead of discussing it with others and getting it done better and in the most effective fashion- in fact, who has the time for this at all.