What is Conflict Prevention?
Can you deal with conflict before it emerges? With the right approach to conflict prevention, you can.
While conventional wisdom suggests that emotions don’t belong at the bargaining table, Professor Daniel Shapiro, founder and director of the Harvard International Negotiation Program, disagrees. In fact, his research suggests that effectively dealing with emotions gives you more power and control, both in negotiations and relationships. His proven framework and strategies around conflict prevention and resolution have been used the world over by countless leaders to achieve better outcomes.
But how do you engage in conflict prevention if you don’t know when you may face a conflict?
Conflicts often arise when we fail to carefully think through our own interests. For example, you may take offense after hearing through the grapevine that a coworker took full credit for a project you completed together. You certainly have a short-term interest in correcting that false impression, if it’s true.
At the same time, you may be overlooking a greater long-term interest: contributing to a functional workplace where conflicts are handled productively and relationships grow stronger. When you bring such long-term interests to the forefront, you become more capable of looking into the rumor carefully rather than immediately confronting your coworker.
But conflict prevention isn’t always ideal. In fact, conflict prevention can sometimes stifle creative problem solving.
The best leaders surround themselves with people who have diverse views, styles, and perspectives. This diversity of opinion helps leaders view a problem from all angles.
For example, we often wrap up negotiations too quickly and leave value on the table because we fear disagreeing with others. By contrast, when we not only feel free to disagree with others but also are encouraged to do so, we open the door to different perspectives and foster a more rigorous decision-making or negotiation process.
To learn more about conflict prevention, download your free copy of our special report, The New Conflict Management: Effective Conflict Resolution Strategies to Avoid Litigation.
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