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Leadership in Action: Identity Crisis: Recognizing the Triggers of a Growing Type of Conflict by Todd J. Weber, Donna Chrobot-Mason, Marian N. Ruderman

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When social identity conflicts emerge in the workplace, organizational members turn to their formal leaders—those who have organizational authority and who engage in processes and actions that lead to shared direction, alignment, and commitment—for help. Leaders' reactions to social identity conflicts can deescalate or accelerate the conflicts. There are no simple remedies.

One of the most helpful leadership strategies culled from CCL's research is to make space and time for dialogue and apologies. Conflicts deescalated when leaders created a safe environment for addressing the issues. Many of the stories told went on to describe how those involved apologized when they realized the consequences of their actions. Apologies went ...

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