Chapter One

The Nature of Conflict

Note: All of the examples from my own practice either are from public, nonconfidential forums or are heavily disguised to protect confidentiality.

We are of two minds about conflict. We say that conflict is natural, inevitable, necessary, and normal, and that the problem is not the existence of conflict but how we handle it. But we are also loath to admit when we are in the midst of conflict. Parents assure their children that the ferocious argument the parents are having is not a conflict, just a “discussion.” Organizations hire facilitators to guide them in strategic planning, goal setting, quality circles, team building, and all manner of training, but they shy away from asking for help with internal conflicts. ...

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