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Power and Conflict

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Managing conflict is difficult enough, but when you add important aspects of diversity such as race, gender, sexual orientation, age, culture and others it can get even more complicated.

When there is similarity between 2 people, even if the conflict is strong, we have a good chance to resolve the conflict successfully. However when we are different, it gets complicated.

Amounts of organizational power are based on the groups we belong to. A simple example is level… Read the full article >

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How Listening Impacts Conflict

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If someone disagrees with us – part of the frustration in the conflict comes from feeling like the other person doesn’t understand. They are not listening.

Lack of listening of either side escalates conflict. Before you tell them you disagree or make your point again, a small bit of listening will go a long way to increase understanding and reduce conflict.

Jim Haynes, former NYC policeman, sees it this way. Jim worked for 13 years in law enforcement on… Read the full article >

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How To Reduce Emotional Reactions During Conflict

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It is often not the facts or figures which are the problem in conflict: it is the emotions. Depending on the personalities, situations, power-differentials, topic and skills of each party, conflict creates a wide range of personal emotional reactions.

Take the situation of a difference of opinion with your manager about your performance. The facts may be unclear if you met your manager’s expectations. Expectations are subjective and may not have been outlined specifically. Add to that, your… Read the full article >

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4 Steps to Conflict Resolution

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Over the years, working with many leaders and teams experiencing conflict, we have found that there is a simple structure, when kept in mind, increases success in conflict situations. The steps are:

1. Understand the Issue
2. Set a vision
3. Explore Alternatives
4. Agree on Action

With that said, it is hard to always follow it perfectly. It is meant as a guideline to address the key aspects of conflict situations. These 4 steps is… Read the full article >

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Why Conflict Resolution Is Not For The Faint Of Heart

Rules of Engagement

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Before we blame conflict on others, we must look at ourselves to see if we have what it takes to address conflict. Conflict is not for the faint of heart. Some of the attributes of good conflict handler include:

*Courage – Conflict always involves potential misinterpretation and hurt feelings. It takes courage to walk calmly and deliberately through the ambiguity and try to resolve it

*Balancing your interests and others – Ultimately you… Read the full article >

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Can Conflict Be Resolved?

Anger. Battle. Hurt Feelings. Innovation. Winning. Losing. Fear. These are the words people think of when we say “Conflict”.

Most of the words are negative – they convey conflict as a difficult, dangerous process. Many will go well out of their way to avoid emotional conflict situations, especially at work. There is a lot at stake. Careers. Money. Power. Opportunity. – It’s personal, it’s emotional and it often times means opening oneself and becoming vulnerable.

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The aim… Read the full article >

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Why Great Teams Speak Up and Challenge Their Leaders

A recent study at MIT confirmed that many of you reading this need to speak up!

I agree. In my experience working teams made up of scientists, MD’s, engineers, and researchers, many of these leaders were talkers to the detriment of team performance. They are often articulate and captivating, naturally adding value when they speak. But over time, when they lead the conversation, others just check out. The team sits in silence and the result is one-dimensional results.

This is a leadership problem, of sorts, that can be resolved.

After a few hours with a R&D team at a… Read the full article >

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How To Shine A Light On Invisible Team Conflict And End It

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You sense something is wrong but you can’t put your finger on it. You know the team is stuck, and results are suffering. You hear people here and there talking badly about others.  You have subterranean conflict, conflict gone underground and causing a ripple through all that is going on. Here is what to do.

This 2 minute video is a quick summary of what to do, filmed right after a team breakthrough session to address subterranean conflict. More details on… Read the full article >

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When Conflict Breaks Your SWING

When there is subterranean conflict across functions and sub-teams within your management team, it puts you out of swing. The team gets stuck and can’t access all its talent. Eventually this starts slowing down the team and its results. Such a conflict often means that peers aren’t asking for what they really want and need. Instead their unmet request play out in odd ways – unanswered calls, negative gossiping, and resentment building up. Taking the time to bring the whole extended team together and walk through issue by issue, focusing on who needs to do what so you can… Read the full article >

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The NYPD And The Mayor: When Conflict Turns To War

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As a lifelong advisor to organizations of all kinds and in varied geographies (including governmental units of the city of New York), my firm and I are often called upon to settle conflicts between people, their management and their co-workers.

Although this is often challenging, once you understand what is at the core of conflict and have a methodology for dealing with it, there is always a solution.

One of the universal keys to success is to address the issues as… Read the full article >

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