Conflict is Unavoidable; Suffering is Optional

"Conflict is an unavoidable part of business life...If disagreements or misunderstandings between team members or departments is hurting productivity, it's time to find a solution. It's easy to hope things will blow over, but that rarely happens. You need to open lines of communication, resolve differences, and put the focus back on getting work done.

These BNET resources will help you improve your own conflict resolution skills and avoid the worst conflicts in the future:

Alternative Dispute Resolution...
Alternative dispute resolution, particularly if it is entered into voluntarily by the parties rather than being forced on them by a court order, can bring with it substantial savings in time, money, and the expenditure of human resources that would otherwise be needed to engage in a long and stressful court battle.

Is Conflict Prevention the Same as Conflict Avoidance?
Some people think that prevenging conflict is the same as avoiding conflict, which is not the case. This article describes the difference between the two approaches, and how conflict prevention involves the elimination of unnecessary conflict in the workplace.

Conflict Coaching for Leaders
Conflict arises from a clash of divergent perspectives and ideas on a particular issue. Several methodologies are available for amicable resolution of conflicts. Conflict coaching is an individualized approach towards imparting conflict resolution skills in leaders and managers. It provides a practical forum for those whose effectiveness suffers due to the lack of conflict competence. The paper examines the nuances of conflict coaching and discusses issues involved therein.

Conflict and Cooperation in the Workplace
In the workplace, you are likely to find two forms of conflict. The first is conflict about decisions, ideas, directions and actions. The second form, "personalized conflict" is often called a personality conflict. In this form, the two parties simply don't like each other much. This article reveiws elements of both types conflict, how they escalate over time, and how to use a few general strategies to deal with them.

Seven Tips for Cross-Cultural Conflict Resolution
Team members work in increasingly diverse environments. They include age, gender, race, language, and nationality. Beyond these differences, there are also deeper cultural differences that influence the way conflict is approached. One reason that teams fail to meet performance expectations is their paralysis through unresolved conflict. The paper discusses the impact of culture on the prevention and resolution of conflict in teams and suggests seven ways to resolve problems.

Tough Conversations at the Top
Managers spend an inordinate amount of time putting out fires, particularly interpersonal ones. It is not uncommon for a manager to spend 20 percent of his or her time managing conflict of one degree or another. Conflict is not something to be suppressed in an organization, nor is it to be ignored. There is a strong link between the ability to resolve conflict effectively and being perceived effectiveness as a leader. Managers who resolve conflict by perspective taking, creating solutions, expressing emotions and reaching out are considered to be more effective. Executives who demonstrate these behaviors are seen as successful and more suitable for promotion.

Conflict Resolution Training Helps...
Most senior managers and line managers do not recognize the incredible cost of conflict to organizations. Conflict resolution programs can defuse problems before they escalate to strikes or lawsuits, as well as improve employee morale, increase productivity, decrease absenteeism, and lower turnover. Employees can resolve some issues without involving senior management, and without increasing tensions on the floor."

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