• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

Managing Interpersonal Conflict helps readers better understand and ultimately manage their routine interpersonal conflicts. Specifically, the book walks readers through the conflict process--from the initial decision of whether or not to confront differences to how to plan the actual confrontation. Donohue deals extensively with the negotiation process and, if negotiation proves unsuccessful, with third-party dispute resolution. The book emphasizes keeping conflicts under control and keeping focused on the issues. The key to managing conflict is to address differences collaboratively so parties can create better solutions and, ultimately, strengthen their relationships. Managing Interpersonal Conflict prepares and encourages the reader to stop avoiding their conflicts and start confronting them. Designed for college and university undergraduates, Donohue's text and the Interpersonal Commtext series will also interest students and professionals in management studies, sociology, organization studies, and social psychology. “They provide a very useful look at a somewhat broader than usual range of conflict issues…. Where the decision is to confront, it offers useful approaches to allowing face saving and to issue structuring that will allow the conflict, in many cases, to be readily resolved…. The second section … provides a useful and easily worked with framework for negotiating, and deals most effectively with the use of and responses to the exercise of power in the negotiation context…. The book is exceptionally readable and effective in its presentation of approaches to conflict. While it is not a traditional academic text, periodic references to the conflict literature are used to allow the reader to examine the issues presented in more depth. The book will serve as an outstanding text for a training program in conflict management and can also be used by an individual effectively to learn these techniques.” --The Alternative Newsletter

Confronting Conflict
Confronting conflict

The last chapter ended with a challenge. Try to avoid getting stupid during conflict. Is this objective possible? Can we begin conflict without it blowing up in our faces? The first step in accomplishing this objective involves making the decision to confront or avoid the conflict. Many people might make this decision without really thinking about it. They simply go with their usual practice of either confronting or avoiding.

Consider the family that went out of its way to avoid the conflict at all costs. It's as if they had a big, stinky elephant in their living room and no one wanted to admit that it was there. The whole family walked on eggshells, afraid to say anything that might offend anyone. Most ...

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