Customer Reviews


17 Reviews
5 star:
 (12)
4 star:
 (2)
3 star:
 (2)
2 star:
 (1)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Recommended to businesses who want to understand conflict dynamics
My typical observations of conflict in the workplace when working with executive and managerial teams are that leaders typically ignore or avoid the conflict and hope it goes away, or they resort to intimidation, sabotage, and winning at all costs. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that authors Craig Runde and Tim Flanagan of the Leadership Development Institute...
Published on April 27, 2007 by Armchair Interviews

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars More about Management than Leadership
I received this book at work. The book brings together a number of ideas that could be of value to everyone that works with others. As a professional leader I did find the tone of the book to be a bit condescending. Perhaps it is because the explanations and descriptions seem obvious to me.
In the beginning of the book it states, "The most effective leaders...
Published 9 months ago by captiii


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Recommended to businesses who want to understand conflict dynamics, April 27, 2007
By 
This review is from: Becoming a Conflict Competent Leader: How You and Your Organization Can Manage Conflict Effectively (Hardcover)
My typical observations of conflict in the workplace when working with executive and managerial teams are that leaders typically ignore or avoid the conflict and hope it goes away, or they resort to intimidation, sabotage, and winning at all costs. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that authors Craig Runde and Tim Flanagan of the Leadership Development Institute (LDI) at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida offer a better way to leverage the value of constructive conflict and minimize the effects of destructive conflict dynamics.

In less than 200 pages, Runde and Flanagan easily and concisely share:

* Definitions of leadership, conflict, and conflict competency

* The process for conflict dynamics

* Importance of leader self-awareness and self-control

* Methods for preventing destructive responses to conflict

* Suggestions for enhancing constructive responses, and

* Building conflict competent organizations

I particularly enjoyed the Dynamic Conflict Model in Chapter 2 which provides an easy method for understanding the triggers (hot buttons) that incite conflict, the active and passive constructive or destructive responses we choose in response, whether conflict remains task or person-focused, and the resulting de-escalation or escalation of conflict respectively.

The main weakness in this book is the brevity of Chapter 6 on building conflict-competent organizations. Additional strategies and work-related case studies in multiple industries would be helpful to apply the theory to personal experience, particularly if the reader is a new supervisor or from a particular industry where some destructive responses may be the organizational norm (i.e., avoidance and yielding were highly prized in one of my client companies where overt conflict was viewed as contradictory to the values of customer service and teamwork).

In spite of this, Becoming a Conflict Competent Leaderis a very worthwhile read particularly in light of the escalated violence observed in workplace and school campuses and in communities.

Armchair Interviews recommends this book for business consultants, organizational leaders, or professors interested in building personal competence in conflict dynamics to achieve solid results.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A How-to Guide for Managing Conflict, December 11, 2006
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Becoming a Conflict Competent Leader: How You and Your Organization Can Manage Conflict Effectively (Hardcover)
After reading this book, I asked myself what the take-away was. Essentially, it is that everyone has at least one hot-button. It is natural and customary to have emotional reactions. The authors refer to a "refractory period when the emotion holds sway over our rationality." However, just because we're hardwired this way doesn't mean that the affects are acceptable or desirable. Outbursts and, what the authors refer to as cycles of retaliation, erode relationships and can infect whole organizations.

The authors courageously confront the reader with the notion that if people are "... really honest with themselves, during conflict many resort to tactics and behaviors designed to cause discomfort, delay progress, disrupt communication, or even inflict pain." However, there are alternatives: one can take a breath, find a new sense of control and choose a better way to communicate.

Essentially, they point to what it means to be emotionally mature. But that's the rub. Not every organization will be so lucky to be comprised of consistently mature, healthy adults, their professional skills notwithstanding. Thus, it is every leader's responsibility to recognize that managing conflict is as important as managing the more quantifiable aspects of business.

How to do this is not especially complex nor novel. As a matter of fact, they're the same skills as good parenting skills. For leaders who may have not conceptualized their roles to include this or, more honestly, would rather ignore conflict in the hopes that it will just go away, the book gives some valuable tips. It shows how to spot conflict and identify the ways in which it can show up -- not every conflict is a loud brawl and the insidious quiet ones can be just as if not more damaging. More importantly, it gives instruction on how leaders can and should deal with it constructively.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Grounded in Reality, November 28, 2006
This review is from: Becoming a Conflict Competent Leader: How You and Your Organization Can Manage Conflict Effectively (Hardcover)
It's a sad reality that conflict is displaying exponential growth around the globe. The authors have compiled an excellent resource that is grounded on significant experience. The work and experience shared in this text allow leaders to develop a constructive response to conflict, as opposed to avoiding conflict or escalating conflict.

The combination of stories, technique, and empirical data are packaged in such a way that the information is highly accessible. It has the credibility and depth one would expect from the Center for Creative Leadership. The resource list and bibliography also afford useful entree to more specialized tools to heighten the awareness and efficacy of leaders whatever their context.

Bill Lindberg

President

The Ash Grove Group

Santa Barbara, CA
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Understanding a conflict situation, September 3, 2007
This review is from: Becoming a Conflict Competent Leader: How You and Your Organization Can Manage Conflict Effectively (Hardcover)
Conflict is a normal part of relationships, and thus its management is an essential leadership skill. Precipitated by an event and/or hot button, the initiated conflict is either escalated by `destructive' responses or de-escalated by `constructive' responses according to the Dynamic Conflict Model introduced by the authors. A conflict competent leader understands this model and the elements of conflict. By using self-awareness and self-control, and by understanding conflict styles and behaviors, the conflict competent leader is able to make a choice in their responses.

According to the authors, emotions play a key role in escalating conflict and there are five levels related to conflict situations:
* Level One: Differences
* Level Two: Misunderstandings
* Level Three: Disagreements
* Level Four: Discord
* Level Five: Polarization
One way to lessen emotionally driven destructive responses to conflict is to emphasize a positive emotional tone by managing effectively five core concerns:
* Appreciation - acknowledging the value of people
* Affiliation - developing connections with another person
* Autonomy - respecting the freedom of people to make decisions
* Status - recognizing the specialty of others
* Role - making sure that people have a clear, meaningful purpose
To promote constructive responses to conflict:
* Stay calm
* Encourage civility, fairness, and safety
* Use teaching and coaching
* Provide learning opportunities
* Embrace constructive conflict
The authors end the book by promoting the building of conflict competent organizations, including the adaptation of an Integrated Conflict Management System.

From an individual conflict management perspective, the book serves as a reasonable `how-to' guide for resolving a specific situation. From an organizational perspective, it misses the importance of building common purpose and shared goals as a performance foundation for conflict avoidance as well as conflict resolution. Dennis DeWilde, author of The Performance Connection
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Behavior is the key, September 15, 2007
By 
Deborah (San Diego, CA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Becoming a Conflict Competent Leader: How You and Your Organization Can Manage Conflict Effectively (Hardcover)
Fair warning to the reader! I work with the Conflict Dynamics Profile 360 assessment (CDP), which is the core of this book's approach to conflict. Having said that, I also want you to know that the reason I work with the CDP is because it provides a research-based behavioral approach to managing conflict.

The body of work in this book was developed in response to data showing that the most commonly low-rated behavior for people in leadership development programs was conflict management. Often the individual receiving such feedback had no idea what behaviors were leading to those low ratings. Conflict Dynamics clarifies the behaviors that escalate vs those that manage conflict, so that the reader can identify what behaviors to change.

Whereas other conflict management approaches focus on general styles toward conflict (i.e. competitive, collaborative, etc.) or individual personality differences that lead to conflict (nurturing vs. driving, for example), this book clearly describes behaviors, regardless of styles and individual differences. Filled with well written scenarios depicting the different conflict behaviors - both constructive and destructive - this shows readers how they may contribute to negative conflict situations and - more importantly - how they can move conflict situations to positive issue-focused resolution rather than destructive person-focused escalation.

No matter how this book is used, the reader will find that it contributes to growth as a leader in the real world.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Engage Conflict, March 14, 2007
By 
This review is from: Becoming a Conflict Competent Leader: How You and Your Organization Can Manage Conflict Effectively (Hardcover)
If dealing with conflict effectively is important to your job and career, I recommend reading Becoming a Conflict Competent Leader. It provides a thorough treatment of the nature, sources, and dynamics of conflict, as well as the costly impact of negative behaviors and patterns for mishandling conflict. A large section of the book is devoted to a set of well researched constructive behaviors for engaging conflict effectively. The book is well written and laced with useful case illustrations.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommended!, January 19, 2007
This review is from: Becoming a Conflict Competent Leader: How You and Your Organization Can Manage Conflict Effectively (Hardcover)
The authors could have written another relatively dry and merely theoretical book on workplace conflict. Instead, they made it something all readers can all relate to whether we are practitioners interested in helping clients understand the effects of their behavior on others or organizational leaders interested in finding a resource that expertly guides them to greater success in their career. The examples are great! I'm sure I'll be giving many copies of this book to my clients.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars More about Management than Leadership, December 9, 2013
This review is from: Becoming a Conflict Competent Leader: How You and Your Organization Can Manage Conflict Effectively (Hardcover)
I received this book at work. The book brings together a number of ideas that could be of value to everyone that works with others. As a professional leader I did find the tone of the book to be a bit condescending. Perhaps it is because the explanations and descriptions seem obvious to me.
In the beginning of the book it states, "The most effective leaders are known for being models of exemplary behavior." I am not sure what exemplary behavior actually means. In the exact same paragraph it goes on to state, "Self awareness is critical." Exemplary behavior and self awareness are not indistinguishable, yet they are combined in a single idea in a paragraph with no further adequate explanation. This is typical throughout the book.
There are a lot of descriptive ideas and thoughts about leadership presented in this book however I see no valid prescriptive methods to use these ideas.
Parts of the book equate management and leadership, I do subscribe to this thought. Management is about resources, leadership is about people. To me a manager is one who does things right, follows the procedures and processes. A leader is one who does the right thing, regardless of the procedures and policies. You cannot effectively manage conflict among people unless you view them only as resources. You can lead people through conflict if you focus on them as individuals. This concept is not brought out in the book.
I find that the ideas presented in another book, "How to Win Friends and Influence People" by Dale Carnegie are much more effective.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A lot of good information--BUT, August 14, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Becoming a Conflict Competent Leader: How You and Your Organization Can Manage Conflict Effectively (Hardcover)
I found content helpful and mostly practical. What I did find unnerving was their regular references to various instruments that can be used--but never gave an instrument that the reader could use right away. As a result, I felt as if I were reading a promo for the various items.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Are there no positive apects to conflict?, May 13, 2008
This review is from: Becoming a Conflict Competent Leader: How You and Your Organization Can Manage Conflict Effectively (Hardcover)
I was thinking this book might be useful in leading seminars on conflict transformation, but was disappointed. It is too narrowly focused on minimizing destructive behaviors. That's clearly an important part of navigating conflict, but very far from the whole story.

My main objection is to one of the authors' underlying assumptions, which is that all conflict is always a bad thing, something to be minimized as much as possible rather than seeing it as having both good and bad aspects, something akin to fire. Conflict, like fire, can provide energy to get things done, heat to melt resistance, and light to clarify what's really going on, but it can also be destructive to varying degrees if not channeled appropriately. I am not satisfied that these authors have thought very deeply about the positive aspects of conflict. As a result, their whole model is focused in a direction I do not want to advocate to the leaders I train. It seems shallow to me.

For example, their "Dynamic Conflict Model" on page 25 is all about de-escalating/ toning down conflict. Constructive Responses are defined as "behaviors which keep conflict to a minimum" rather than behaviors which a.) channel conflict into productive transformation toward the accomplishment of the organization's mission, b.) clarify priorities, core values, and issues that need to be addressed, and c.) regulate its intensity so it does not become inappropriately destructive. It is too bad that this book is all about c.) and not at all about a.) or b.). A truly conflict-competent leader is one who is skilled at doing all three of these things.

I'm much more inclined to agree with George Bullard's thesis that "Every Church Needs a Little Conflict" to be healthy. The same is true of businesses.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

Becoming a Conflict Competent Leader: How You and Your Organization Can Manage Conflict Effectively
Used & New from: $2.98
Add to wishlist See buying options
Search these reviews only
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.