Managing Conflict with Peers

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Wiley, Sep 11, 2003 - Business & Economics - 31 pages
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A great many peer conflicts arise from incompatible goals or from different views on how a task should be accomplished. With honest dialogue these kinds of conflicts can usually be resolved. But other peer conflicts are more troublesome because they involve personal values, office politics and power, and emotional reactions.
To resolve these more difficult peer conflicts, managers should examine three key issues that can cause such clashes and also influence their outcome. One, they should assess their emotional “hot buttons” that trigger ineffective behaviors and make conflict difficult to manage. Two, they should examine their personal values and how those might conflict with what their peers find important. Finally, they should assess their power in the organization—which can be related to position, influence, expertise, or some other factor—and learn how to use it to manage conflicts.
Navigating these issues won’t rid an organization of conflict among peers. But by paying attention to them managers can build effective relationships that will survive these inevitable conflicts and bolster their ability to achieve organizational goals.

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About the author (2003)

This series of guidebooks draws on the practical knowledge that the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL) has generated, since its inception in 1970, through its research and educational activity conducted in partnership with hundreds of thousands of managers and executives. Much of this knowledge is shared-in a way that is distinct from the typical university department, professional association, or consultancy. CCL is not simply a collection of individual experts, although the individual credentials of its staff are impressive; rather it is a community, with its members holding certain principles in common and working together to understand and generate practical responses to today's leadership and organizational challenges.
The purpose of the series is to provide managers with specific advice on how to complete a developmental task or solve a leadership challenge. In doing that, the series carries out CCL's mission to advance the understanding, practice, and development of leadership for the benefit of society worldwide.

Talula Cartwright is a senior program associate at CCL and works extensively with participants in its Leading Creatively program, Leadership Development Program (LDP), Foundations of Leadership program, and The Women ?s Leadership Program. She has worked in the area of executive and management development since 1981, with an emphasis on organizational learning and executive communication. She holds a Ph.D. in higher education from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.