Conflict Management

Conflict is a persistent theme on the news, in the neighborhood, and often in our own homes.

Conflict typically occurs between people when their goals, hopes, decisions, preferences or need for resources compete. When Conflict Management goes well, the opposing people or groups examine the choices before them. They take responsibility for their own behaviors, owning up to what they’re doing that is helping or hindering the process. They seek resolutions that work for all.

If any of these behaviors are true of you or your work associates, guidance from the helps you move issues forward in a constructive way:

  • Ignores or dismisses feelings — others’ and own
  • Acts defensively, critically and aggressively in conflict situations
  • Avoids conflict and leaves things unattended so long that it increases problems
  • Fails to find common ground or consider the viewpoints of others

It’s tempting in light of events like these to conclude that human nature overwhelms reason. Don’t believe it. Teaching, and training your colleagues, coachees or students is not only possible, it’s imperative. We’ve got answers.

Action learning tips and learning assignments on the job are a click away at

You might also consider (a sampling of suggestions from

Bolton, Robert. People Skills: How to Assert Yourself, Listen to Others and Resolve Conflicts. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1997, 2003.

Fisher, Roger, William Ury, and Bruce Patton. Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreements Without Giving In. New York: Penguin Books, 2011.

McKay, Matthew, Martha Davis, and Patrick Fanning. Messages: The Communication Skills Book. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications, 2009.

Conflict Guidebook series published by the Center for Creative Leadership, (includes: Managing Conflict with Peers; Managing Conflict with Direct Reports; Managing Conflict with Your Boss).

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