Dealing with Conflict

February 7, 2000
Discussion and decision making inevitably lead to conflict.But conflict that's merely smoothed over alwaysresurfaces in a number of different ways, cutting down productivity. Dealingwith conflicts effectively is vital to the well-being both of the company andthe organization.

Companies who effectively deal with conflict:

·   Value high levels of interaction.

·   Tolerate—even welcome—conflict for the airing ofdifferences.

·   Take a problem-solving approach to conflict.

·   Process the feelings behind statements, as well as thecontent.

·   Wait to proceed with a task until conflict is managedsatisfactorily.

·   Realize that moderately high levels of well-managedconflict result in greater creativity and higher-quality solutions.

SOURCE: Steven H. Larson, "The Behavioral Side ofProductive Meetings," excerpted from the Workforce Classic Reprint Series "Successful Meetings,"April 1980.