"Expecting people to resolve their differences without giving them
conflict-managementskills is like giving a computer to someone who's never seen one before and saying, 'Have fun using this.'"
”Pat Parenty, senior vice president and general manager, Redken, U.S.A.
Imagine yourself in each of the following situations:
At work, one of your peers says to you, "I don't see how you can call yourself a team player, you always seem to be focused on your own agenda."
You've just joined a company as a department head. One of your new staff greets you by saying, "I've been here three
You are representing Revlon at a trade show. Someone you've never met before comes up to your
How would you respond to these challenges? There are a number of options. You could choose to be dismissive and simply blow off your adversaries, saying to yourself: "Zelda is having a bad hair day." "No sense arguing with Frank, he's a control freak." "This person is clueless about what we really do." Alternatively, you could dig in and mount a point-by-point counteroffensive, or you could take the high road and ask them to explain their statements. A fourth option is to play the diplomat and try to mollify them, saying that they are entitled to their point of view and that you are certain that they have good reasons for believing what they do. And there are other decisions to be made. You could use the same approach with all three, or you may choose to be selective and
The way in which you handle conflict-charged situations like these says a great deal about your personal conflict-management style, the conflict-resolution skills you possess, and those you need to acquire.
During an alignment, team
Much of the "fun" of conflict management begins with the
discussion of business relationships. Let's face it: Concepts such
are abstract. It is easy for
me to depersonalize when I am talking about my company or my
department, but it is more difficult to do when I am talking about
A moment of truth in conflict management occurs when the
action shifts to the individual: when team members look,
individually, into the mirror, then compare the way they see
This self-assessment beginsand only beginsduring the alignment session. It continues, in much greater depth, afterward.
We suggest approaching individual aspects of conflict management
very strategically. First, use team alignment as a platform to
resolve larger, organizational issues. Then, move on to developing
The following pages will focus on the specific skills each individual needs to acquire and the ways in which these skills facilitate conflict resolution.