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Conflict Management

Fair Conflict Management includes:

  • Dealing with one issue at a time,
  • If more than one issue is presented, agreeing on the order in which the issues will be addressed,
  • Exploring all the dimensions of the problem(s),
  • Exploring several alternative solutions to the problem(s).

If any party is uncomfortable with the forum in which the conflict is raised, it is legitimate to request and discuss what the most appropriate forum might be.

Inappropriate behavior in conflict includes, but is not limited to:

  • Name calling,
  • Mind reading (attributing evil motives to others),
  • Inducing guilt (“Look how you’ve made me feel”),
  • Rejecting, deprecating, or discrediting another person,
  • Using information from confidential sources or indicating that such information exists.

Fair conflict always allows people who are charged with poor performance or inappropriate behavior:

  • to know who their accusers are,
  • to learn what their accusers’ concerns are,
  • to respond to those who accuse.

Mastering Conflict and Controversy, Edward G. Dobson, Speed B. Leas, Marshall Shelley, (Portland: Multnomah Press, 1992), pp. 43-44

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