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Understanding the Dynamics of Conflict and Your Responses to It

Conflict is inevitable, but combat is optional.

—Max Lucado

Leaders do not need to become conflict experts, but it is important that they appreciate how and why people respond to conflict in the manner they do. This understanding will help illuminate the way to new, more effective kinds of responses that can turn conflict from a problem into an opportunity. In this chapter, we look at what conflict is, how people think about it, how it arises and unfolds, and how people respond to it. This basic grounding in conflict dynamics and self-awareness about one’s responses to it can help leaders better understand why they need to engage conflict rather than avoid it: to lessen its harmful ...

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