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Listening to Conflict: Finding Constructive Solutions to Workplace Disputes Paperback – April 12, 1999
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From Library Journal
We listen with only 25 percent efficiency, according to human resources consultant Van Slyke, and this listening inefficiency is the root of much unresolved conflict. He details a process for constructive dispute resolution, beginning with the suggestion that we get to know ourselves first, a step he sees as critical. Then follow Four Principles of Interaction; Six Levels of Listening; Four Steps to the Highest Level, Empathetic Listening; Three Obstacles to Effective Listening; and Six Steps of Collaboration. The presentation is highly organized, if a little dry. According to Van Slyke, empathic listeners hear both explicit and implicit messages, taking in not only words but also body language, intentions, and feelings. When they couple that level of understanding with their own self-awareness, they are ready for constructive conflict resolution, a process that Van Slyke calls supportive communication. Buried in all those lists are helpful suggestions for effective listening, and it is hard to dispute the importance of learning to listen at work and in life. Recommended for larger public and business libraries.Julie Denny, Alliance for Mediation & Conflict Resolution, Amenia, NY
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Wherever two human beings interact, conflict is bound to happen and therefore in organizations where people from different backgrounds and personalities intermingle, disputes are more likely to occur. This is because each one wants to hold on to his/her stand and consider accepting other points of view as clear surrender. However, Erik Van Slyke provides a meaningful guide to understanding conflict and how best to approach for ultimate resolution. Biases and prejudices give rise to incompatibility but self-awareness leads to self-mastery, which is at the base of efficient conflict resolution. Detailing the fine art of listening and the many obstacles as well as steps for collaboration and principles of interaction, the book examines all these issues capably using exercises, examples and models. By applying and observing these practices, you could help resolve conflicts at workplace and even play a neutral referee between disputing parties. Indeed the author emphasizes the need for viewing conflicts as constructive opportunities to exchange information and differing viewpoints so as to arrive at a collaborated understanding. Perhaps the benefit of reading this book lies in actually applying and implementing the guidelines provided. It definitely is worth trying.
The author sees conflict as a positive process that is constructive, allowing parties to share information and be exposed to a different perspective. The author believes that viewing conflict in this light, one can take advantage of the opportunities presented through conflict. The author offers some basic resolution skills as abilities needed to successfully take advantage of conflict:
· Gain as much knowledge as you can about the issues involved.
· Establish working relationship based on trust and open communication with the other party.
· Get everyone involved to cooperate on a solution instead of trying to change each other.
· Manage group processes and decii9on making by clarifying the real problem and expanding the range of options.