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Have a Nice Conflict: How to Find Success and Satisfaction in the Most Unlikely Places Hardcover – January 24, 2012

4.7 out of 5 stars 50 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Q&A with the Authors of Have a Nice Conflict: How to Find Success and Satisfaction in the Most Unlikely Places

What does it mean to Have a Nice Conflict?

Having a nice conflict means preventing and managing conflict in a way that actually strengthens a relationship. To quote one of the characters in our book, “the lifeblood of any organization is people. You got conflict in your life? You're choking off your blood supply.” Have a Nice Conflict helps to make sense of the dynamics between different types of people and then details a five-step framework to prevent potential conflict and effectively manage conflict. This approach is based on the fundamentals of Relationship Awareness Theory, a self-learning model for accurately identifying the motive behind people’s behavior used by hundreds of thousands of people around the world for over forty years.

Why did you choose to write this book as a fable?
In our many years as a training publisher and certification provider, we recognize the power of stories in the learning process. People can digest concepts better when framed in a relatable story. In Have a Nice Conflict, we follow the journey of John Doyle, a midlevel sales manager in a pressure-cooker environment whose personal and career struggles stem from the way he deals with conflict.. With the help of Mac, the eccentric “conflict doctor” referred by one of John’s long-time clients, John (and the reader) explore the five keys to Have a Nice Conflict: anticipate, prevent, identify, manage, and resolve. These are skills that anyone can develop and use in everyday interactions at work and at home.

So Have a Nice Conflict isn’t just about workplace conflict?
Since conflict is a people issue—not just a work issue—it’s present wherever people see things differently: at work, at home, with friends, even in places of worship. Awareness of self and others, as well as the development of the relational skills associated with nice conflicts, can be applied in all relationships. While John Doyle originally sets out to solve his conflict problems at work, he winds up dramatically improving his relationship with his wife and kids.

Why do you use the term “prevent” instead of “avoid” conflict. Is there a difference?

Unfortunately, there is. While avoiding conflict is the well-worn path of least resistance, it can get us into more trouble and damage our relationships. In Have a Nice Conflict, readers learn how to prevent conflict—to proactively make better choices in their relationships that respect different personality types and foster powerful, productive interactions. . If a conflict can’t be prevented—and let’s face it, some conflicts will happen despite our best efforts—we can learn to manage conflict by identifying it quickly and creating conditions that lead people back to a place of feeling good about themselves.

What are your Relationship Awareness personality types?

Relationship Awareness Theory assessments look at the motivation behind behavior—why we do what we do. Results reveal your Motivational Value System, which is charted on a three-color triangle. Mike is in the Red region of the triangle (Assertive-Directing), similar to John from the book. He wants results and is very task-focused, quick to act, and likes to take charge. Reds are known to create conflict for people by moving ahead too fast, not getting buy-in from everyone concerned, and not considering the feelings of others. Tim and Kent are near by in the Red-Green blend region (Judicious-Competing). They are strategy-minded with a concern for fairness and rational leadership. Red-Greens can also be blind about the feelings of others and can cause conflict for people by being distrustful and secretive about their intentions. Fortunately, like John Doyle, we have learned a lot about preventing and managing conflict. But admittedly, we’re still works in progress (just ask our Blue-Green wives).

Review

“A must-read for anyone who wants to master the crucial skill of preventing and navigating conflict.”
—Joseph Grenny, coauthor, Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High

“If you want to recognize conflict sooner, resolve it quicker, and get better results, read this book!”
—Chuck Maisch, president, Süd-Chemie Inc.

“With a powerful message that's certain to improve your relationships at work and at home, Have a Nice Conflict is not only a wonderfully fun read, it's also a solidly credible one. Read, learn, and enjoy.”
—Jim Kouzes, coauthor, The Leadership Challenge; Executive Fellow of Leadership, Leavey School of Business, Santa Clara University

“With Have a Nice Conflict, the authors have captured the music and drama-and sometimes humor-of real-time conflict, as well as a road map for how to manage and avoid the conflicts we find ourselves in everyday.”
—Hile Rutledge, CEO and owner, Otto Kroeger Associates; coauthor, Type Talk At Work

Have a Nice Conflict clearly details how to prevent, manage, and resolve personal and professional conflicts. With sound advice for those desiring to build partnerships with a positive win/win outcome, this is recommended reading for every member of your organization.”
—Donna L. Crisp, rear admiral, U.S. Navy (ret.); CEO, Crisp Atwood Group

“A great introduction to knowing yourself and collaborating effectively with others. It's also a good read; you won't be able to put it down.”
—Michael Maccoby, author, The Leaders We Need: And What Makes Us Follow

“The authors seek to empower readers to become masters of their own conflict and control their own lives. Have a Nice Conflict is a powerful read for anyone who wants to be able to diffuse life's conflicts more effectively.”
—The Midwest Book Review

“In telling the story of John Doyle, Have a Nice Conflict gives us an everyman who faces the same conflicts-large and small-that each of us experiences every day at home and in the workplace. Enter Dr. Mac, a combination of Marley's ghost, Yoda, and Peter Drucker to guide John-and us-through critical lessons in how to recognize, categorize, and deal with these conflicts. Within the context of an easy-to-read, enjoyable story, the authors provide valuable lessons that everyone who manages or works with people should know.”
—Mark Allen, professor, Graziadio School of Business and Management, Pepperdine University; author, The Corporate University Handbook

“This book gives a positive and easy-to-remember methodology to deal with conflicts, both large and small.”
—Peggy Thurmond, former CFO, McGladrey Capital Markets

Have a Nice Conflict does a superb job of distilling key personnel concepts into a succinct format that will be of great benefit to managers and employees alike. This narrative volume presents the enduring management principles of psychologist Elias Porter in an eminently sensible and approachable way. The authors use a case example to illuminate fundamental concepts in a manner that is both compelling and readable. A definite addition to the personnel management bookshelf.”
—Morgan T. Sammons, dean, California School of Professional Psychology

“With many of the latest popular business books, I fail to make the link from theory to the practical application of their contents, but because of the storybook format and application to relationships beyond business, the link from theoretical to practical in Have a Nice Conflict was obvious. Once I began seeing myself in the behaviors of one of the main characters, I couldn't put it down. Have a Nice Conflict heightened my understanding of Relationship Awareness Theory and kindled a desire to learn more!”
—Jonathan McGrael, director, training and development, Arbor Pharmaceuticals

“A gem! This book is packed with secrets for resolving conflict and attaining success. Read it now!”
—Mike Song, coauthor, The Hamster Revolution: Manage Your Email Before It Manages You

“Turning conflict into opportunity is a blend of skill and art best not left to learning by trial and costly error. The authors brilliantly take you through John Doyle's personal and professional journey. I found myself putting the insights to use the same day I read the book!”
—Ron Campbell, president, Center for Leadership Studies, Situational Leadership

“The best learning comes from stories, and you will not want to put this story down. The book is well written and full of good wit, with memorable Relationship Awareness Theory throughout.”
—Susan M. Hahn, president, Swan Consulting Group, Inc.

Have a Nice Conflict is the perfect resource to use in working with student groups, faculty, and staff. The authors weave the theory and its practical application in a wonderful and humorous story. As the student disciplinary officer of the college, I find it also a helpful tool in mediating conflict to a successful outcome for all parties involved.”
—Nikki Schaper, associate dean, student services, MiraCosta College

“This engaging book wonderfully illustrates skills that will help you turn the conflicts of your daily life into seeds of positive change-and it shows you how to do it!”
—Tony LoRe, CEO, founder, Youth Mentoring Connection/Urban Oasis

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Jossey-Bass; 1 edition (January 24, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1118202767
  • ISBN-13: 978-1118202760
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.9 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #197,432 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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By James Glenos Jr. on January 12, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Ever found yourself in a conflict situation? How did it go? Somewhere less than perfect, I bet. Sometimes things work out all right, but most of the time they don't. Conflict is never easy and managing it seems to be the Holy Grail of relationships.

Well, folks, here it is - the Holy Grail of Conflict Management.

Tim Scudder has done it. He's cracked the code on relationship building. "Have a Nice Conflict" provides insights and explanations of why people do what they do - why WE do what we do. Basically, it all boils down to what drives us; what provides us self-worth; what makes us feel good about ourselves. Once we understand ourselves, we must strive to understand the others we interact with on a daily basis.

Now, I'm no storyteller, but Tim sure is. I've read a lot of books on this subject and this is the first one that I'd call a page-turner. It's a marvelous story about a sales executive named John who finds himself in some pretty ugly situations (the same ones we all get into), and (spoiler alert!) how he develops into a thoughtful, competent conflict manager.

You don't know me, but trust me. You need to buy this book. It will change your life...at work AND at home.
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Format: Hardcover
Wow ! what a ride. This is a great read! Couldn't put it down! The vivid imagery makes it read like a very engaging novel, but lurking beneath the surface is a very effective business book about relationships. This is a book I will recommend to all my friends and acquaintances as it has tips that we can all use to improve our mutual communication and ultimately our relationships. This should be required reading in school; its content is priceless & timeless and it is an easy and fun read
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Format: Hardcover
This book is amazing. It took me about two days to finish. I found the story of John Doyle extremely relatable and the journey that he goes through learning about conflict and instead of avoiding it, working on preventing it. As a teacher I am able to use the concepts in this book not only in my professional life but in my personal life as well.
I definitely recommend this book if you want to learn more about the stages of conflict and useful tools on preventing conflict.
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With so many basic problems facing you in the corporate world these days one of the hardest of these is just getting along with all of the personalities you have to deal with on a daily basis! This book can certainly assist with how to deal with these conflicts, whether large or small, so that your job can be done in a more efficient and less stressful way.
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One of those books you cant put down once you get started. Highly recommend it. Filled with little nuggets of wisdome that can be used in everyday life both personal and professional.
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The authors come to market with a book based on real results, not conceptual models alone. Their approach works and they demonstrate how it may be applied in diverse situations.
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This is a must read book for anyone involved in business and for that matter, life. You won't be able to put this book down. The clever story telling of the ups and downs of John Doyle and his Yoda like mentor leave you grasping for more. The principles and struggles that "John" goes through, not only are valuable for dealing with work related relationships but serves as a valuable tool for any relationship.
For you, your co-workers, your boss, your spouse, you name it- Read it!
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By KYVOL on February 2, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This is a great book. The principles communicated in it have tremendously helped our organization work through underlying conflict within our organization.
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