WHAT I’VE BEEN READING: Resolving Conflicts at Work by Kenneth Cloke and Joan Goldsmith

Resolving Conflicts at Work: Ten strategies for everyone on the job by Kenneth Cloke and Joan Goldsmith

This book provides ten specific strategies that can create a conflict positive workplace – an organization in which conflict is managed well and leads to positive transformation. The authors see conflict as an opportunity for leadership, and suggest three important characteristics of leaders: alignment – a commitment to dealing with conflict in a straightforward manner; empowerment – of all parties to identify and resolve the conflicts they encounter; and transparency – that allows conflict to be viewed openly and honestly so that inquiry, integrity and reflection are generated and prized. The authors provide practical suggestions for leaders to put these attributes into action. Each of the ten strategies has its own chapter:

1. To understand the culture and dynamics of conflict;
2. Listen empathetically and responsively;
3. Search beneath the surface for hidden meanings;
4. Acknowledge and reframe emotions;
5. Separate what matters from what gets in the way;
6. Solve problems paradoxically and creatively;
7. Learn from difficult behaviors;
8. Lead and coach for transformation;
9. Explore resistance and negotiate collaboratively;
10. Mediate and design systems for prevention.

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