Anticipate: Anticipating conflict starts with knowing who you’re dealing with and then asking yourself how other people may view the same situation differently. When two or more people see things differently, there is the potential for conflict. If you can figure that out, you have a good shot at steering clear of it.
Prevent: Preventing conflict is really all about the deliberate, appropriate use of behavior in your relationships. A well-chosen behaviour on your part can prevent conflict with another person. But you sometimes need to prevent conflict in yourself too, and that may have more to do with choosing your perceptions than choosing your behaviours.
Identify: There are three basic approaches in conflict: rising to the challenge (assert), cautiously withdrawing (analyse), or wanting to keep the peace (accommodate). When you can identify these approaches in yourself and others, you are empowered to handle conflict situations more productively.
Manage: Managing conflict has two components: managing yourself and managing the relationship. Managing conflict is about creating the conditions and empowering others to manage themselves out of the emotional state of conflict. It’s also about managing yourself out of it. Managing yourself in conflict can be as easy as taking some time to see things differently.
Resolve: To create movement towards resolution, we need to show the other person a path back to feeling good about him- or herself. When he or she feels good about him- or herself, he or she is less likely to feel threatened and is free to move towards a resolution.
CPP Global Human Capital Report. July 2008.
Dana, D PhD., The Dana Measure of Financial Cost of Organisational Conflict.
Thomas, K & Schmidt, W. 1976. A survey of managerial interests with respect to conflict. Academy of Management Journal, June.
William G Bliss—Bliss & Associates.
Jennifer Baker, Forest Institute of Professional Psychology.
The Have a Nice Conflict Learning Experience
This two-day, participant-centred learning environment offers participants a way to increase self-awareness and emotional intelligence dramatically by understanding their reactions to conflict and the effect they have on others. Using real-world, personalised cases, participants learn to understand the motives and strengths of others – allowing them to choose behaviours that will make them more effective in business and personal settings. Visit http://www.haveaniceconflict.com/ for more details.
Without a doubt, conflict is costly on a personal and organisational level. Poorly-managed conflict can steal our time, money, health, and happiness. However, we can learn to have a nice conflict – the type of conflict that consistently leads to greater productivity and stronger relationships, and leaves everyone involved feeling good about themselves. The five keys to having a nice conflict are presented in the business bestseller Have a Nice Conflict: A Story of Finding Success and Satisfaction in the Most Unlikely Places. See above for a brief summary of each key to having a nice conflict.
Have a Nice Conflict: A Story of Finding Success and Satisfaction in the Most Unlikely Places Tim Scudder, Michael Patterson, Kent Mitchell ISBN: 978-1-1182-0276-0 January 2012, Jossey-Bass R298.00
Have a Nice Conflict: A Story of Finding Success and Satisfaction in the Most Unlikely Places isn’t just another textbook or “how-to” manual on conflict management. It is an engaging, readable story about John Doyle, a hard-working middle manager who is fighting to save his relationships and rescue his sinking career. The story reveals powerful and relevant lessons as the reader follows John on a journey of learning and personal growth. In short, it’s novel in more ways than one. It’s a fictional story and a fun way to learn practical – and potentially life-changing – conflict management principles.