Knowledge Center FAQs: Dealing With Conflict

Resources can help you manage conflict with your coworkers and board members.

Q: How can association professionals deal with potential conflicts in the office of with the board of directors?

A: Dealing with conflict is an issue managers must tackle so the team can remain productive and forward thinking. The following resources offer excellent advice on how to deal with conflict.

"Taking a Positive Approach to Resolving Conflicts" (Association Management, September 2005). The Center for Creative Leadership in Greensboro, North Carolina, offers five tips on dealing with conflict in the workplace. Some constructive ways of resolving conflict include understanding the other's point of view, reaching out to get stimulate communication, and staying flexible and optimistic during the situation.

"Dealing with Resistance: The 4 + 2 Method," by Ian Cook (Center Collection white paper, January 2002). Learn how to break down resistance by using this methodology to help you gain buy-in from board and staff for your position. The first four steps focus on understanding the cause of their resistance. The last two steps help you articulate your position and resolve the issue, showing how you are ultimately responsible for the outcome of the situation.

"Conflict and Trust: Expressions of Culture and Keys to Organizational Success," by Jamie Notter and Madelyn Blair (Journal of Association Leadership, Fall 2004). Addressing the issues of conflict and trust is critical for any organization that wants to be high performing. Organizations are encouraged to examine their own cultures and incorporate the frameworks needed to increase the capacity for resolving conflict.