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A Process for Managing Conflict > Recognizing Both Sides of the Conflict

Recognizing Both Sides of the Conflict

Conflict is a natural and unavoidable consequence of work because people have different views, values, and ways of getting results. In managing the relationship you have with your direct reports and in managing the work the organization has asked of your group, uncovering those differences can go a long way toward resolving conflict with your direct reports or avoiding it altogether. You can start with an honest assessment of yourself as a manager. When conflict happens, take ownership of your part in it. Don’t assume that the direct report, current business conditions, or the organizational culture is the source of the conflict.

To get a clear picture of what you might be contributing to the conflict you’ll need to do some hard thinking about yourself in your role as manager and about how your direct reports respond to you. There are many tools available to help you gain a clearer picture of yourself. For example, formal 360-degree assessment gathers feedback from your boss, peers, and direct reports related to your behavior and performance. Comparing their responses to your own can show you how closely your view of yourself aligns with how others view your behavior and perspectives. Another option is to videotape yourself during meetings. Afterward, watch your reactions and those of others. If you’re uncomfortable using videotape or if circumstances make it difficult to use, ask a colleague to observe you and to provide feedback on a regular basis.


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