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Win at Work!: The Everybody Wins Approach to Conflict Resolution by Diane Katz PhD

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Introduction: Understanding Conflict at Work

How often do we find ourselves stuck with or frustrated by conflict at work? Far too often! After years of watching organizations struggle to free themselves from destructive conflict, I developed The Working Circle, a step-by-step process that helps men and women resolve workplace conflict in a nonconfrontational, creative, and collaborative way.

Conflict by itself is neither good nor bad. It just is. We can't avoid it; it emerges in every aspect of our lives, every single day, to a greater or lesser extent. Imagine having no conflict at work. At first, you might think what a wonderful experience that would be! But that would be true for a very short period of time; after a while, it would get boring. Why? Because conflict gets our juices flowing; it motivates us to excel. Competition is conflict, after all, and in the business world, we certainly need to be competitive! Without conflict/competition, there would be fewer opportunities for creative thinking, breakthroughs, innovation, and professional growth.

Conflict: Constructive and Destructive

There are two kinds of conflict at work: destructive and constructive. Destructive conflict distracts you from achieving the goals of the organization; it takes your eyes off the prize and puts more focus on "covering your butt." If you have a disagreement with someone, for example, most likely you will not resolve the conflict. Instead, you are more likely to talk about that person and the problem ...

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