Conflict 101

A Manager's Guide to Resolving Problems So Everyone Can Get Back to Work

 Conflict 101

Author: Susan H. Shearouse
Pub Date: May 2011
Print Edition: $17.95
Print ISBN: 9780814417119
Page Count: 272
Format: Paper or Softback
e-Book ISBN: 9780814417126

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Overview of the Book

Part I sets the stage for understanding conflict, beginning with this chapter.

Chapter 2, “What Gets in Our Way?” explores what happens when

a working relationship has gotten off track—how fear, assumptions,

blame, and habits get in the way of resolving conflicts.

Part II, “Understanding the Dynamics of Conflict,” provides an

analysis of the dimensions of conflict, which points to the tools to understand

differences and avoid needless contention. Chapter 3, “What We

Need: The Satisfaction Triangle,” describes three necessary components

of satisfactory solutions. In Chapter 4, “Where We Are: Levels of

Conflict,” you will see how resolving conflict at the earliest opportunity

is easiest—and strategies for dealing with conflicts that have escalated.

Chapter 5, “How We Respond: Approaches to Conflict,” enables you to

gain a clearer understanding of your own approaches to conflict, and the

approaches others around you use. From there, you learn strategies for

beginning to change those approaches when they are not useful and to

deal more effectively with other approaches you encounter at work.

Chapter 6, “Who We Are: Cultural Considerations,” explores cultural

differences and the role these differences play in creating and

resolving conflict. Chapter 7, “What We Are Arguing About Matters:

Sources of Conflict,” analyzes five sources of conflict in the workplace:

information, interests, structural conflicts, values, and relationships—

with a guide to using that understanding to resolve conflict more effectively.

Part III, “Keys to Resolving Conflict,” introduces five concepts managers

can use to create a more positive climate for workplace relationships.

Chapter 8, “Building Trust,” considers behaviors that build or

wreck trust and how to rebuild trust that has been broken. Chapter 9,

“Apology and Forgiveness,” addresses the role that apologies and forgiveness

play, and provides steps to take to apologize effectively and to

move toward forgiveness. Chapter 10, “Rethinking Anger,” explores the

physiology of anger, as well as ways to manage your own anger or respond

to others’ anger. Chapter 11, “A Sense of Humor,” focuses on the importance

of keeping the ups and downs of working relationships in perspective;

and Chapter 12, “Time,” reflects on the importance of time in

decision making and the resolution of conflict.

Part IV, “Putting It All Together,” brings together concepts explored

in earlier chapters, providing specific conflict-resolution tools and communication

skills. Chapter 13, “Reaching Agreement: A Solution-

Seeking Model,” delineates a process for addressing differences, presents

a solution-seeking model, and shows how to use it. Chapter 14,

“Listening Is the Place to Start,” focuses on listening skills and explores

how managers can listen more effectively. Chapter 15, “Saying What

Needs to Be Said,” gives a guide and some tips for raising concerns and

addressing issues so that others are more likely to hear your message.

Chapter 16, “The Challenge of Electronic Communication,” explores

how to use electronic communication effectively in addressing workplace


Each of the concepts and skills presented here will enable you

to resolve conflicts more quickly and effectively, which will have an

immediate impact on morale, productivity, and ultimately the bottom


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