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Friday, October 21, 2005

Conflict: Don't Just Fight It, Manage It

Conflict is an ever-present reality whenever people work together. It can manifest itself in differences of view, differences of opinion, differences of personality, and differences of interest. But conflict doesn’t have to be destructive. If the right options are chosen to handle conflict – either as a strategy or as a tactical choice – the result can be of huge benefit to both sides. These are the 7 options you have.

1. No Deal. A no-deal outcome to a conflict means that the status quo is confirmed and nothing changes. No-deal is rarely a successful end to a conflict unless during discussions it becomes clear there is no advantage for you in continuing. No-deal, in the sense of walkaway power, can also be used tactically at any stage of the proceedings. To make sure you are not disadvantaged if your bluff is called when you threaten "No deal!", make sure you have a good second-best BATNA (Best Alternative To a Negotiated Agreement) to fall back on.

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