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Making Conflict Work: Harnessing the Power of Disagreement (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – 2. September 2014

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"An excellent workbook-like guide based on the authors’ seven strategies (that is, ways to deal with conflict): “pragmatic benevolence,” “cultivated support,” “constructive dominance,” “strategic appeasement,” “selective autonomy,” “effective adaptivity,” and “principled rebellion.” Each strategy features a business case, six reasons to use this particular strategy, 10 explicit tactics that support that strategy, building blocks or competencies you’ll need, and a skill-development checklist. For example, strategic appeasement is best exemplified by former Chicago Bulls and L.A. Lakers head coach Phil Jackson, who says such things as “Over my lifetime, I’ve rarely or never disagreed with a boss” and “I’ve always been known as an accommodator where I work.” People will employ the appeasement strategy when they’re getting hazed or are gaming the system; tactics for than range from cozying up to the bully, to “forget” to ask permission, and remembering to apologize. Their concluding remarks underscore the book’s purpose: 'Know yourself better in conflict.'"
Booklist, STARRED review

"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, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion

"Navigating conflict effectively is an essential component of leadership. Making Conflict Work illustrates when to compromise and when to continue driving forward."
Honorable David N. Dinkins, 106th Mayor of the City of New York

"This book is a necessity. As someone who has navigated the traps of power and conflict across the globe, it is refreshing to find a book that calls it what it is, and offers useful advice on turning traps into prospects for change. Read it."
Leymah Gbowee, 2011 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and Liberian peace activist

"Making Conflict Work gives us a way to think about how we deal with conflict in hierarchical organizations.  Especially helpful are the chapters that link conflict intelligence—how we routinely deal with conflict—to actionable strategies." 
Deborah M. Kolb, professor emerita, Simmons College Graduate School of Management

"Through a superb balance of interviews, case studies, and evidence-based insights, the authors provide valuable lessons on how leaders can manage conflict."  
Steve Cohen, executive director, The Earth Institute, Columbia University

"An innovative and practical look at how to navigate everyday disagreements to reach your goals, serving up examples of best practice drawn from the authors’ decades of experience helping others cope with conflict, power and change." 
Larry 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; author, The Art of Negotiation

In diesem Buch

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5 von 5 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Great addition to my conflict library 24. September 2014
Von Alain B. Burrese - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts ( Was ist das? )
“Making Conflict Work: Harnessing the Power of Disagreement” by Peter T. Coleman and Robert Ferguson provides seven strategies and seventy tactics to make conflict work up and down the ladders of power in organizations. It's backed with science, examples and illustrations of how the strategies and tactics work, as well as self-assessment evaluations to determine the strategies and tactics you use the most, and which you might want to incorporate more.

This isn't a “simple” book, but one that takes a serious look at conflict and deserves a serious read to incorporate the information provided effectively when dealing with conflict, especially in the workplace. The book is aimed at managers, mediators, consultants, and attorneys who deal with conflict, and I'd echo those as the target readers, but would also include anyone wanting to be in those positions or better understand conflict and how they can approach it differently to help increase the amount of positive resolutions.

One of the things I really like about this book is that it looks at conflict, and the various ways you can deal with it for different outcomes. It allows the reader to choose strategies and tactics that will work the best in certain situations, while acknowledging that completely different strategies and tactics will be needed when in conflict with a different person or over a different matter. I also like the self-assessment exercises that provide insight to your own preferred conflict styles. Knowing this helps when making choices to best deal with disagreements and other conflicting situations.

The book also discusses power imbalance and strategies and tactics geared toward being the person with more power, or the person with less power. I found this very informational, because most of the time there will be a power imbalance.

How well you manage conflict with your boss or other superiors at work, or with the more difficult employees you need to supervise, will be an important consideration in your continued success. This book will help you assess and determine your own responses and outcomes when conflict is involved, and mastering the strategies and tactics will undoubtedly help you succeed in any organization or field that involves conflict.
2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Exceptional, practical, enlightening methods for dealing with conflict 27. August 2014
Von Tracy Marks - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts ( Was ist das? )
MAKING CONFLICT WORK is one of the most useful self-help books I have ever read, and certainly one of the most organized and substantial. Since I have been self-employed for 40 years, I don't have much experience with the daily situation of being an employee or boss. But I occasionally encounter conflict situations with demanding or critical clients or with directors of educational programs.

Usually I respond more from the gut than strategically either because I'm deeply invested in my point of view or because I'm not aware of or experienced with alternative ways of responding. When I do respond with an attitude of "how can we make this work for both of us?", the results are often positive, but in some situations, good will and a cooperative attitude are ineffective. This is why I chose to read this book.

What is exceptional about MAKING CONFLICT WORK is its clarity (and self-evaluation assessments) in regard to seven different methods of dealing with workplace conflict. These methods differ, applying to conflict situations in which you have more or less power or equal power than the other party.

The authors Coleman and Ferguson discuss power conflict traps in regard to a number of situations, and then presents chapters to each of the strategic methods for approaching conflict. In brief, four of the seven methods are: pragmatic benevolence (compassionate responsibility) and constructive dominance (command and control) for circumstances in which you have more power; and cultivated support (cooperative dependence) or strategic appeasement (unhappy tolerance) for circumstances in which you have less power.

The other three approaches the authors call selective autonomy (independence), effective adaptability (partnership) and principled revolution (enemy territory). The method you choose should be related not only to your power in the situation, but also how invested you are in maintaining a cordial relationship (and the job), your long term goals, and whether the other party's attitude and goals are congruent with yours.

For me. although a win/win approach has served me in the past, I've been stymied when the other party has a different agenda, is rigid and unwilling to compromise, and is threatening rather than supportive and cooperative. MAKING CONFLICT WORK actually addresses these situations in both its strategic appeasement and selective autonomy chapters – and gives useful advice.

This book does not waste time with too much storytelling (although it does have anecdotes which demonstrate each approach) or abstract theory. Its guidance is very specific and down-to-earth. Its assessments – at least two per chapter – can help you evaluate to what extent you are using particular tactics and to what extent the other party is responsive to your approach. As a result, you can clarify both your strengths and weakness in different conflict situations and pinpoint the skills you most need to practice.

MAKING CONFLICT WORK is highly organized, with each chapter divided into relevant topics, each one clearly explained. In the concluding chapter, the authors summarize their underlying approach:

"The next step for increasing your conflict intelligence is to enhance your competencies for accurately reading critical aspects of the relationships and situations in which you experience conflict. Sometimes...we need to practice taking the time to ask ourselves: Do I need to engage in this conflict and relationship? Are the others with or against me or both? Who has more power? And then act accordingly.

....Ultimately, it is critical that you consider your bottom line in conflict. Know when you need to move from more-cooperative and conciliatory strategies into more-competitive and contentious ones. Know when to respond to conflict in a manner that "fits" the situation, but also when not to. Know ... when the other disputants cross lines that you refuse to cross."

Many of the strategies and tactics presented in MAKING CONFLICT WORK are relevant to personal relationships as well as work relationships. This is a very enlightening, helpful book which I highly recommend.
A lucid and well argued perspective on conflict management 8. Dezember 2014
Von Philippe Vandenbroeck - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
„The world may now be flat, but most organizations are not.” Indeed, for a few decades there has been a storm of rhetoric about disappearing hierarchies and the rise of self-organization. The reality is that organizations are still very much driven by differences in status and power play. And with power often comes conflict. And vice versa conflict is complicated and aggravated by power.

This book starts from the premise that power differences are an important variable that needs to be factored into conflict management. In this it addresses a blank spot in scholarship. Apparently the interlinkages between power and conflict have not been systematically studied.

The book’s aim is to bolster the reader’s conflict intelligence so that confrontations can be productively integrated in the flow of organizational life. Conflict intelligence is a boon to both those higher up and lower down the chain of command. Because often those in high power stand to lose as much as their subordinates in conflict: they don’t get what they want, lose time and energy, waste social capital and fail to create value from the confrontation. In other words, there is a fairly high opportunity cost associated to not investing in acquiring conflict intelligence for all parties involved.

Conflict intelligence requires first and foremost a capacity to read and understand a conflict situation. Usually we don’t bother to reflect. We tend to go mindlessly along with a default response that emerges at the intersection of many personal influences and the particular situation we find ourselves in. To override our dominant responses we need a grid to analyze and frame a conflict situation. The authors construct that model around three key elements in conflict: how important are the other disputants to me? Are they with me or against me? Am I more or less powerful than them, or are we equals? Different answers to these questions shape different conflict situations. The argument is further developed around seven archetypal situations that are labeled as follows:

Compassionate Responsibility
Command and Control
Cooperative Dependence
Unhappy Tolerance
Enemy territory

For instance, the Unhappy Tolerance situation is one where you find yourself in low power, with purely competitive goals, and yet with a high need to remain in the relationship with the disputant. Experienced from a position of authority this situation then turns into Command and Control.

Each of the seven situations are then matched by a mindset that is most appropriate for that conflict situation. For instance, a situation of Unhappy Tolerance benefits from being approached with an Appeasement mindset. On the other hand, someone in a Command and Control situation does well to contemplate Dominance as a possible strategy. Altogether, the authors discuss three strategies that are basically cooperative in nature (Benevolence, Cooperation, and Support), three strategies that are more susceptible to escalation (Dominance, Competition, and Appeasement) and a withdrawal strategy (Independence). Conflict intelligence then consists of being able to read different conflict situations, mastering the various mindsets and being able to switch from one to the other as and when the context requires.

Coleman’s model is elegant and not so difficult to understand. However, its application may be less straightforward. I did a few thought experiments retroactively analyzing some of the conflictual contexts I had been part of. It was not always easy to answer the three basic questions. Were our goals aligned? Well, at one level certainly, but another level not (which is why there was a conflict). Was there a power difference? I considered us to be peers but the disputant may well have perceived herself in a position of authority. How important was the relationship really to me? Now that I started to think about it, maybe it was not that important. Clearly, how we approach these questions will be filtered through our temperament and evaluated against our goals. Personally I tend towards strategies of cooperation and withdrawal. It will be very hard for me to frame a situation in terms that will lead me to approaches that are competitive or very explicitly play on a power differential. As a result of these thought experiments I am guessing that it is perhaps harder to break out of our default response attractor than the book leads us to believe.

Coleman and Ferguson acknowledge that conflict intelligence has its limits. We may find ourselves in situations that are simply wrong, immoral, illegal or stupid. Then we need to forfeit adaptiveness and opt for Principled Rebellion. This strategy boils down to naming and shaming your opponents to bring them back in line with what is legal, fair and ethical.

Making Conflict Work provides a lucid and well argued perspective on conflict management. It’s basically a manual with scholarly pretensions. It seems that everyone can benefit from working through this book. Fortunately the authors went out of their way to make it a pleasant reading experience. Their prose is accessible but doesn’t fall into the trap of excessive chumminess. The book is clearly structured which makes it very easy to navigate. Short surveys help readers to assess their personal fit with the strategies discussed. The myriads of real-life examples that are woven into the argument strike me as fresh and alive and they are narrated with empathy. The notes section at the end of the book contains abundant pointers to relevant academic literature.
Great workbook for helping organizations deal with conflict 2. Oktober 2014
Von Angela M. Hey - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts ( Was ist das? )
This is a book for people who work in organizations - as a paid employee, partner or volunteer. It is not about family disputes, although the questions posed in the book may help you resolve them.

Take time to read this book as it has exercises for the reader to aid in understanding the impact of how conflict is managed. The book is well-structured. It starts by examining the connections between conflict and power, then it assesses the reader's Conflict Intelligence through a series of questions.

There are 7 different ways people behave in a conflict situation:
- pragmatic benevolence - cooperating and empathizing
- cultivated support - a way to harness the power of others
- constructive dominance - how power holders use it
- strategic appeasement - less powerful people often appease their bosses
- selective autonomy - for the independent person
- effective adaptivity - be versatile
- principled rebellion - speak up and organize

Each of these styles is explained through case studies - what works and what doesn't. There are 15 questions for each style to assess how well it matches a reader's style. The reader is then asked 15 more questions about the organization. The results can show if there is a good fit between reader and organization.

I found the questions useful - however it was hard to get a really low score on the answers - so maybe the questions were not polarizing enough. There are plenty of ideas that leaders, managers, professionals, executives, employees, consultants and laborers can use for solving conflicts at work. Each chapter about a conflict style is summarized with recommendations and examples for strategies and tactics.

I wish I'd had this book early in my career. It is an ideal present for someone in their first job. Not since I read Coping With Difficult People for a management workshop, have I read such a wise and pragmatic book for dealing with workplace conflicts. It would be a great book for an in-house company seminar/course or offsite.
Excellent 29. September 2014
Von A reader - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts ( Was ist das? )
This book is loaded with very practical ideas for avoiding and resolving conflict at work. These ideas are aimed at workers of all ranks and levels, in order to help them become more sensitive to the delicate balances that exist, particularly between workers of unequal rank. Perhaps with a full range of useful tools like these, people can get their own needs met while bringing out the best in each other.

Early in the book, the authors present three questions that come up in conflict situations:

"How important are the other disputants to me?

Are they with me or against me (or both?)

Am I more or less powerful than them , or are we equals?" (p. 41, early edition)

The authors go on as follows: "Together, these three concerns can override our dominant responses and largely determine our reactions and responses to conflict situations - the strategies and tactics we employ - when we take the time to consider them. Think of them as the three most basic elements of conflict situations."

The authors refer back to these questions repeatedly throughout the book, especially when helping readers assess when to go forward in conflict and when to hold back.

The main body of the book consists of chapters on each of seven approaches to dealing with conflict, ranging from Strategic Appeasement to Principled Rebellion. I found the chapters on Pragmatic Benevolence, Cultivated Support, and Selective Autonomy most intriguing.

What makes the book so useful for future reference is its format. Each chapter contains a description of its featured approach to conflict , followed by a section on what factors draw people to that method. There are worksheet pages for self-examination and for understanding one's own work situation more keenly, then lists of reasons to use that approach to conflict, followed by ten tactics for using it successfully. Each chapter ends with a summary of the main points, which is great for ongoing study.

The final chapter, "Conclusion," presents five steps for mastering conflict resolution, and the appendix provides a questionnaire for further reflection.

So much good material, and so accessible. Highly recommended.
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