Saturday, April 21, 2012

Conflict 101: A Manager's Guide To Resolving Problems So Everyone Can Get Back To Work By Susan H. Shearouse

Conflict 101: A Manager's Guide to Resolving Problems So Everyone Can Get Back to Work

Conflict 101: A Manager's Guide To Resolving Problems So Everyone Can Get Back To Work By Susan H. Shearouse

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Product Description

We all know conflict is unavoidable, especially in the workplace. Whether it's a fight over resources, a disagreement about how to get things done, or an argument stemming from perceived differences in identities or values, it's a manager's role to navigate relationships, and build compromises and collaborations. "Conflict 101" gives readers the tools they need to ensure not only that employees get back on track, but that disagreements breed positive results. Readers will learn how to: build trust; harness negative emotions; encourage apologies and forgiveness; use a solution-seeking approach; and, say what needs to be said. Incorporating anecdotes taken from the author's twenty years of experience as a conflict resolution professional, the book helps readers more deeply understand how conflict is created, how to respond to it, and how to manage it more effectively.

Product Details
  • Amazon Sales Rank: #215236 in Books
  • Published on: 2011-05-11
  • Original language: English
  • Number of items: 1
  • Dimensions: .69" h x 5.84" w x 9.21" l, .97 pounds
  • Binding: Paperback
  • 272 pages
Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Whenever human beings interact, it's inevitable that conflict—when what one person wants, needs, or expects interferes with what others want, need, or expect—will bubble up to the surface…and no more so than at the office. Whatever the cause, it's your job as a manager to ensure that these ripples of discord don't lead to a lack of productivity, increased employee turnover and absenteeism, and other natural consequences of workplace friction.

Conflict 101 gives you the tools you need to navigate relationships, build compromises and collaborations, and not only get your people back on track, but channel the energy of disagreements into positive results. You'll discover practical, immediately usable ways to:

• build trust among coworkers

• harness negative emotions

• encourage apologies and forgiveness, and

• use a solution-seeking approach to resolving employee differences

• say what needs to be said in any situation involving interpersonal tension.

Whether it's a disagreement about processes, factionalism over where money and staff will come from, or the byproduct of complicated relationships or differences stemming from iden­ti­ties or values, it's imperative that you stem the tide of conflict and keep your people focused.

Advance Praise for Conflict 101

"Susan Shearouse's magnificent Conflict 101 provides the essential tools for improving our working relationships. Her humor and wisdom make this book a powerful guide. A joy to read!" — Robert Maurer, Ph.D., Faculty, UCLA and University of Washington Schools of Medicine; author of One Small Step Can Change Your Life

"Workplace conflict is pervasive and effective skills to intervene are too often limited. This is an especially valuable resource for employees and supervisors facing the challenges of managing conflict. It is engagingly written, grounded with real experiences in the field." — Sandra I. Cheldelin, Vernon M. and Minnie I. Lynch Professor, Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution, George Mason University

SUSAN H. SHEAROUSE has a Masters Degree in Conflict Resolution and served as Executive Director of the National Conference on Peacemaking and Conflict Resolution. Her clients have included Lockheed Martin, Philip Morris, the IRS, the US Environmental Protection Agency, the US Army Corps of Engineers, and many others.

About the Author
SUSAN H. SHEAROUSE has served as Executive Director of the National Conference on Peacemaking and Conflict Resolution and on the Advisory Board of the Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University. Her clients have included Lockheed Martin, Philip Morris, the IRS, the US Environmental Protection Agency, the US Army Corps of Engineers, and many others.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Overview of the Book

Part I sets the stage for understanding conflict, beginning with this chapter.

Chapter 2, "What Gets in Our Way?" explores what happens when a working relationship has gotten off track—how fear, assumptions, blame, and habits get in the way of resolving conflicts. Part II, "Understanding the Dynamics of Conflict," provides an analysis of the dimensions of conflict, which points to the tools to understand differences and avoid needless contention.

Chapter 3, "What We Need: The Satisfaction Triangle," describes three necessary components of satisfactory solutions.

In Chapter 4, "Where We Are: Levels of Conflict," you will see how resolving conflict at the earliest opportunity is easiest—and strategies for dealing with conflicts that have escalated.

Chapter 5, "How We Respond: Approaches to Conflict," enables you to gain a clearer understanding of your own approaches to conflict, and the approaches others around you use. From there, you learn strategies for beginning to change those approaches when they are not useful and to deal more effectively with other approaches you encounter at work.

Chapter 6, "Who We Are: Cultural Considerations," explores cultural differences and the role these differences play in creating and resolving conflict.

Chapter 7, "What We Are Arguing About Matters: Sources of Conflict," analyzes five sources of conflict in the workplace: information, interests, structural conflicts, values, and relationships— with a guide to using that understanding to resolve conflict more effectively.

Part III, "Keys to Resolving Conflict," introduces five concepts managers can use to create a more positive climate for workplace relationships.

Chapter 8, "Building Trust," considers behaviors that build or wreck trust and how to rebuild trust that has been broken.

Chapter 9, "Apology and Forgiveness," addresses the role that apologies and forgiveness play, and provides steps to take to apologize effectively and to move toward forgiveness. Chapter 10, "Rethinking Anger," explores the physiology of anger, as well as ways to manage your own anger or respond to others' anger.

Chapter 11, "A Sense of Humor," focuses on the importance of keeping the ups and downs of working relationships in perspective; and

Chapter 12, "Time," reflects on the importance of time in decision making and the resolution of conflict.

Part IV, "Putting It All Together," brings together concepts explored in earlier chapters, providing specific conflict-resolution tools and communication skills.

Chapter 13, "Reaching Agreement: A Solution-Seeking Model," delineates a process for addressing differences, presents a solution-seeking model, and shows how to use it.

Chapter 14, "Listening Is the Place to Start," focuses on listening skills and explores how managers can listen more effectively.

Chapter 15, "Saying What Needs to Be Said," gives a guide and some tips for raising concerns and addressing issues so that others are more likely to hear your message.

Chapter 16, "The Challenge of Electronic Communication," explores how to use electronic communication effectively in addressing workplace conflicts. Each of the concepts and skills presented here will enable you to resolve conflicts more quickly and effectively, which will have an immediate impact on morale, productivity, and ultimately the bottom line.

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful.
5Insightful methods for dealing with conflict
By John Chancellor
I am not quite certain what I had expected when I started reading this book. But I was very pleasantly surprised at the value of the content. The sub-title calls the book "A manager's guide to resolving problems." The primary focus is on conflicts at work and how managers can effectively deal with them. That really does a disservice to the book. Conflicts are not limited to the workplace and the methods to deal with conflicts work universally.

While we may not be able to predict when or where conflicts will occur, we can be certain that we will all encounter them. The question is not if, but when and how often. So it is very important that we all learn to recognize the different ways that conflicts arise, the different levels of conflict and the most effective ways to deal with them.

As Daniel Goleman has pointed out, some 80 % of the success of managers is attributed to their social/emotional intelligence. Therefore effectively dealing with conflict has a major and direct bearing on the success (or lack of success) of managers. But dealing with conflict is not limited to our employment. We encounter conflict in our community, our social organizations and in our family lives. The better we are able to effectively deal with conflict, the more successful all our relationships will be.

It has been estimated that "42% of a manager's time is spent addressing conflict in the workplace." This is startling and should be a huge wake-up call for management. Conflict results in lost productivity and as a result lost revenue. From a management viewpoint, this is one of the most lucrative areas for profit improvement.

As you would expect from a book with a title Conflict 101, in Part I, the book starts off by defining conflict and what gets in our way. There are built in barriers that get in our way when trying to resolve conflicts. One is fear. Fear keeps us stuck, tied to the way we have always done things. Another barrier is blame. "If we can pin the blame on someone or something else, then we don't have to deal with it anymore - it's their fault, not ours.

In Part ll of the book, Susan Shearouse, the author, helps us to understand the dynamics of conflict. Here she goes into the five levels of conflict. The levels go from problems to solve to intractable situation. In the highest level, both parties are stuck, unwilling to listen or change their position and need an outside mediator - often a court - to resolve the dispute. She also addresses how we respond to conflict and addresses some other considerations.

Part lll discusses the keys to resolving conflict and Part IV brings it all together.

Ms. Shearouse is mediator and the book is filled with real life examples of conflict. She often explains the theory and then gives a concrete example to improve our understanding.

There is an excellent section on listening. I believe that we all would get along much better at work and in life if we would simply read and apply the lesson in the chapter on listening.

Scattered throughout the text are wonderful quotations related to the concept being discussed. These little quotes really add to the book because they often capture the essence of the lesson in a few well chosen words.

The book is extremely easy to read, it flows very well. You will gain a much better appreciation and understanding of conflict and the most effective ways to deal with it.

Reading and applying the lessons in this book will definitely improve your managerial skills and your relationships. Highly recommended for anyone who wants to get along better with others and improve their influence.

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful.
5useful information and techniques for workplace and everyday life
By Dena Feldman
Conflict 101 by Susan Shearouse is a must-read not only for managers, whether new or experienced, but also for anyone who interacts with others. Ms. Shearouse describes various workplace conflicts that a reader can easily relate to, and discusses common factors underlying conflicts. Use of Ms. Shearouse's insightful information and practical suggestions for conflict resolution creates an environment conductive to a more cohesive and productive workplace. In addition, knowledge gained from the book is valuable for everyday life, not just work situations.

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful.
5Words of Wisdom & Experience From One of the Best
By Mark C. Hopson
I've had the privilege of working personally with Susan Shearouse on several different projects resolving conflicts and disputes in a workplace setting. Each time she has brought a considerable amount of experience, foresight, and wisdom to each of these situations.

Before Susan got involved, these situations were seen by the people entangled in them as as unsolvable, devastating, and catastrophic messes that leave professional and personal scars. Many books on conflict theory seem to be written with the express purpose of being confusing or with the intention of seeming overly academic for the sake of complexity. But as the poet Charles Bukowski eloquently put it, "An intellectual says a simple thing in a hard way. An artist says a hard thing in a simple way."

With a great artistry, Susan is able to convey revolutionary ways of framing situations and understanding complex human situations in a simple, accessible way. Whether you are a manager of people, an employee with very few or a great many co-workers, or even an experienced practitioner in the field of resolving conflicts; you will be able to garner some pearl of wisdom or way of seeing things that you did not have before reading this book.

I would highly recommend it as a field guide to simplifying your 9 to 5 life for many years to come!


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