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A Process for Managing Conflict

A Process for Managing Conflict

Each of your peers may have different feelings about conflict from you, but that doesn’t mean that you have to develop a different conflict management process for each of them. Becoming aware of these differences and the impact they have on conflicts will help you resolve disagreements more effectively than if you just trade favors. Such horse-trading might deliver a solution, but it won’t do much to turn a peer conflict into an effective and more productive working relationship.

The nature of peer relationships can sometimes make a conflict management process difficult to implement. You and your peers likely occupy equal but different positions in the organization. Because contemporary organizations rely so heavily on peer relationships to achieve results (command and control hierarchies giving way to collaborative, horizontal networks), using a conflict management process that relies on partnership can be a successful strategy for reaching resolution. A collaborative conflict management process focuses on finding an underlying common principle that you and your peer can agree on. From that common point both of you can move toward a resolution. Because peer relationships often continue for some time, if either side of a conflict feels a loss the relationship can be damaged and the organization loses – it misses out on the productivity, innovation, and implementation that effective work relationships bring.


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