Learn from conflict
How to resolve conflicts on a lasting basis? By considering them not as periodic problems, but as opportunities to repair organizational deficiencies.
Most books on conflict offer advice on resolving individual differences, e.g. how to listen better, develop one’s emotional intelligence, adapt to the style of the other person, communicate well, negotiate effectively, etc.
The authors of “Capitalizing on Conflict” look at the question from a more strategic viewpoint. They show that conflict must not be considered merely as a series of problems that must be resolved in isolation. A context must be created in which conflicts do not arise needlessly, and when they do arise, in which they serve to make progress on fundamental issues.
Among the many pieces of advice proffered in the book, two key messages resonated in particular:
– Don’t ignore even apparently minor conflicts, but use them as an opportunity to identify and resolve more fundamental issues.
– Avoid organizational and communication practices that can generate needless counterproductive conflict.
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