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Conflict Resolution: Concepts and Practice (The Technical Manager's Survival Guides)

Marcus Goncalves
Marcus Goncalves
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ASME Press
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Many professionals could dramatically improve their work environment and team work by learning to negotiate conflicts effectively, without bumping into conflict of interests. For instance, learning to negotiate a conflict would help them deal with demanding, disgruntled coworkers and go back to work on more productive tasks and projects. It would also help them negotiate with opposing team workers to reach concessions and agreements that can save time and money by reducing the issues in dispute or even settling the case. In addition, they could be better able to help their peers become more willing to negotiate their conflicts.

Coworkers or clients who are angry or feel hurt in some way may not always be willing to accept an agreement that is not in line with their interests or needs. There comes a point, often after a stalemate is reached, where the parties decide to try negotiation to resolve the conflict. The process of initiating negotiation can be difficult as it may be interpreted as a sign of weakness. This is one reason why it is often useful for mediators to become involved in the negotiation process.

The timing of such a step is very important. Conflict resolution can only be achieved if the parties are willing to negotiate. In order for the conditions to be favorable, there must be both a perception on all sides that the present course is unsustainable, and a perception that there is a suitable “way out” of the conflict. In some ways, the parties in conflict realize their course of action cannot succeed, and they become more willing to negotiate. But there are times that mediation becomes necessary.

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