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TC's Coleman: "Strategic Adaptation" Can Help Employees Succeed in Conflict-Ridden Workplace
Effective strategies vary with the nature of the conflict, Coleman and Furguson write. Successful employees "read challenging situations... carefully, consider their short and long-term objectives, and then cater their resolution strategies to the specific situations in front of them in order to increase their chances of success."
The authors list six strategies that can work:
- Strategic appeasement in situations where their boss is an unreasonable jerk but they need to buy some time;
- Seeking support and clarification in conflict when facing problems with a generally cooperative boss on whom they are highly dependent;
- Disengaging from a conflict you don't need to be a part of and finding alternative ways to meet your goals;
- Taking the high road in situations when a generally cooperative peer or employee has caused a problem;
- Coming on strong, direct, and even demanding in situations requiring firm, command-and-control leadership;
- Rebelling by naming and shaming those in authority when you are asked to do things that are clearly unethical, immoral or illegal.
Coleman and Ferguson are co-authors of Making Conflict Work: Harnessing the Power of Disagreement (September 2014, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt). http://www.makingconflictwork.
Published Monday, Feb. 16, 2015