Workplace conflict resolution interventions

Authored by: Debra Gilin Oore , Norman Dolan

The Routledge Companion to Wellbeing at Work

Print publication date:  May  2017
Online publication date:  May  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138955943
eBook ISBN: 9781315665979
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781315665979.ch25

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Abstract

An eight-member management consulting firm is developing a bid for a contract to provide leadership assessment and coaching services to a large prospective client. Beth, a new consultant fresh out of business school, wants to lead the project to build her reputation within the company. She is certified to provide personality assessments and believes the proposal bid should center on assessment and feedback to leaders. Mark, a seasoned consultant on the team and sought-after speaker on leadership, expects to lead the project and plans to focus it on leadership coaching – this is, after all, “his area.” In the team meeting, Beth and Mark float their different ideas for the proposal’s focus. As each senses competition and opposition, they become defensive, vocally critique the other’s ideas, and experience frustration, hostility, and anger. After the meeting, Mark hurriedly sends the entire team, ccing the director, an email asserting that leadership coaching is the way to go, he is the person to lead this, and he will send a draft proposal to all. Beth “replies all” with a challenging email – referring to Mark’s email as “rash” and “uncollegial” – and says she will circulate a proposal that “actually responds to the client’s needs” – and the team should vote between them. Beth and Mark avoid one another, seething, while more derogatory email exchanges continue.

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