Chapter 7. 7 GETTING STARTED ON THE ROAD TO CONFLICT COMPETENCE

Difference of opinion leads to enquiry, and enquiry to truth.

Thomas Jefferson

In our experience, most teams that seek assistance for dealing with conflict have not spent enough time discussing and agreeing on process issues. We hope you've talked with your team-mates about conflict—how you've handled it in the past, and how you plan to handle it in the future. We know, however, that conflict isn't always the easiest topic to engage, so we have a few simple suggestions that can provide some structure as you and your teammates begin.

We thought it would be useful to supply you with a series of tools to help you and your teammates take some first steps in assessing your conflict competence and addressing improvement opportunities. This chapter has been specifically designed with utility in mind. Despite what librarians, teachers, and parents taught you about never writing in books, we encourage you to fill up the following pages! And feel free to make copies of these tools for use with your team.

Most teams already have a general sense of how effectively they're addressing conflict. In other words, they are adept at monitoring their team temperature. Teams generally know when things are going great, and they know when they've hit a challenge. A general sense, however, may not be enough to spur a team to action. Furthermore, teammates probably have different and unique perspectives about the team 's conflict competence. It ...

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