The ancient Stoics would practice their response to unpleasant situations in advance. From the possibility of meeting a rude person to the certainty of their own death, they would rehearse the event so as to be better prepared to respond with virtue.

In the corporate world, we know that conflict is inevitable yet few of us truly prepare for it. But what if we rehearsed our response to a colleague asking us to punch his time card so he can sneak out early? Or our response to a boss asking us to work on the weekend without claiming overtime? To an inspector asking us to falsify test results? To a government official asking us to hire her nephew during contract renewal negotiations?

There’s a reason we keep our soldiers combat-ready in peacetime. Why not prepare our employees for the conflicts we know they are going to face one day?

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