Developing Your Conflict Competence: A Hands-On Guide for Leaders, Managers, Facilitators, and Teams
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More About This Title Developing Your Conflict Competence: A Hands-On Guide for Leaders, Managers, Facilitators, and Teams


A practical resource, this book combines tips, checklists, exercises, and stories to outline concrete processes that improve the way leaders, managers, and anyone within an organization responds to conflict. Beginning with a series of questions and self-diagnostics, the authors show you how to: maintain emotional balance in the face of conflict; implement constructive communications techniques; help others deal with conflicts that are causing organization problems; establish norms for handling conflict; use specific approaches for addressing conflict more effectively.

"A must-have guidebook for the new age of global business. This book shows every leader how to turn feelings of fear into feelings of safety, suspicion into trust, and competitiveness into collaboration."
--Jim Kouzes, coauthor of the best-selling book The Leadership Challenge and Dean's Executive Professor of Leadership, Leavey School of Business, Santa Clara University

"Craig Runde and Tim Flanagan use their vast experience to give us Developing Your Conflict Competence. Move beyond negative workplace conflict to positive and constructive outcomes with the simple tools and suggestions in this must-read field guide!"
--Marshall Goldsmith, best-selling author of What Got You Here Won't Get You There, Succession: Are You Ready?, and the upcoming MOJO

"I've read the authors' first two books, Becoming a Conflict Competent Leader and Building Conflict Competent Teams. Their latest book pulls it all together by providing models, examples, and thought-provoking insight. It will be required reading for my senior management team."
--Deborah Jallad, president/chairman, Accredited Surety and Casualty Company, Inc.


Craig E. Runde is director of the Center for Conflict Dynamics at Eckerd College.

Tim A. Flanagan is director of Custom Programs at the Leadership Development Institute at Eckerd College.

Runde and Flanagan are the authors of Building Conflict Competent Teams and Becoming a Conflict Competent Leader (both from Jossey-Bass). Visit the authors' web site at

The Center for Creative Leadership (CCL®) is a top-ranked, global provider of executive education that develops better leaders through its exclusive focus on leadership education and research. Founded in 1970 as a nonprofit, educational institution, CCL helps clients worldwide cultivate creative leadership—the capacity to achieve more than imagined by thinking and acting beyond boundaries—through an array of programs, products, and other services.


Preface: What’s a Hands-On Guide and Why Should

I Be Interested? ix

1 Introduction 1

2 Cognitive Aspects of Conflict 11

3 The Emotional Side of Conflict 33

4 Engaging Conflict Constructively 71

5 Team Conflict Competence 139

6 Organizational Conflict Competence 215

Resources 243

References 249

The Authors 253

Index 255

About the Center for Creative Leadership 267