Approaches for Navigating Conflict Module
This module includes: 1.) curriculum related to approaches for navigating conflict including the CONFLICT acronym, teaching notes, reflection questions, and more; 2.) two classroom exercises to help students practice the various approaches and apply their learning.
Like stress, conflict is often present when working in groups. The acronym CONFLICT highlights some of the basic approaches to navigating some of the interpersonal and issue stressors inherent in leadership. Note: each of these has a time and a place. The key is that the leader intentionally chooses the appropriate approach for the situation. Four relatively passive approaches to working through conflict are indulging (e.g., giving in to others), listening (e.g., truly understanding the perspective of the other), doing nothing (e.g., avoiding the conflict or difficult conversations), and talking/gossip (e.g., side conversations that do not directly address the conflict). Obviating means that leaders effectively avoid the conflict ahead of time – they see the potential for conflict and proactively address issues before things escalate. Leaders who choose forcing take a hard stand and often aggressively promote their perspective. Compromising can be a quick fix, but each party must give something up. Collaborating means that the individuals find a win/win solution, so each party benefits from the new direction.
Collegiate Leadership Competition is a nonprofit organization focused on researching leadership development and using that knowledge to create resources that will help move the field of leadership education forward. CLC’s underlying theory is that leadership skills are primarily strengthened through deliberate practice.