Author(s): Peter T. Coleman
Work conflict is risky. It can go bad and poison employee health, work relationships and organizational climates, or it can go well and help to energize problem solving, innovation and bottom-line effectiveness. Managing conflicts up and down the chain of command at work can be particularly treacherous, as power differences complicate conflicts and constrain response options. Organizations are rife with stories of executives and managers who abuse their power, employees who overstep their authority, and the resulting conflicts that get stuck in downward spirals. When people find themselves in conflict, they immediately become aware of the balance of power in the situation or relationship: 'Hey, you work for me, so back off!', or 'Wow, he is much bigger and drunker than I thought he was before I told him to shut up', so understanding how conflict and power affect each other is vital to effective conflict management. In Making Conflict Work, Peter Coleman and Robert Ferguson, leading experts in the field of conflict resolution, address the key role of power in workplace tension.
Coleman and Ferguson explain how power dynamics function and provide step-by-step guidance to determining your standing in a conflict and identifying and applying the strategies that will lead to the best resolution. Drawing on the authors' years of research and consulting experience, Making Conflict Work offers seven new strategies and dozens of tactics for negotiating disputes at all levels of an organization. This powerful approach can turn workplace tensions into catalysts for creativity, innovation, and meaningful change.
A practical guide to navigating workplace conflicts by better understanding the power dynamics at play in every interaction.
Coleman and Ferguson have done something remarkable: they've written an evidence-based book on the complex topic of conflict and made it easy to read, easy to understand, and, best of all, easy to use. A genuine winner Robert B. Cialdini, author of Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion An innovative and practical look at how to navigate everyday disagreements to reach your goals, serving up examples of best practices drawn from the authors' decades of experience helping others cope with conflict, power, and change Lawrence Susskind, cofounder, Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School Managers who try to suppress conflict not only make things worse, but also stifle opportunities for creative problem solving. Making Conflict Work should be essential reading for all managers Michael Wheeler, retired professor, Harvard Business School, and author of The Art of Negotiation
Peter Coleman is a professor of psychology and education at Teachers College and the Earth Institute at Columbia University and the director of Columbia's International Center for Cooperation and Conflict Resolution. He is also a New York State certified mediator and experienced consultant whose clients include IBM, Citibank, the United Nations, the World Bank, and the U.S. State Department. Robert Ferguson is a psychologist and executive coach who has provided consulting, conflict resolution, mediation and leadership training to organizations including Credit Suisse (USA), Merrill Lynch, Ahlstrom, Kennametal, KBI Biopharma and Aegon.