Conflict and Negotiation

Posted by brunson stafford on July 2nd, 2021

Conflict and Negotiation


By Michael LaMarque

Conflict and negotiation are key parts of management. All conflicts do not have to be negative. In “How Management Teams Can Have a Good Fight,” Eisenhardt, Kahwajy, and Bourgeois discuss how successful management teams grow from conflict without turning conflict into interpersonal issues. They discuss six common traits, the use of information, the discussion of alternatives, shared goals, the use of humor, a balance power structure, and the resolution of issues without forcing consensus.

As the article moves on, the authors explain their points. The more information, which is shared throughout the team, the more supported arguments can be. Key points can actually be discussed and not guessed about. The discussion of alternative solutions gives everyone the opportunity to participate and feel as if they have a say. Ultimately a better alternative may be chosen instead of the proposed idea. Reminding the team of shared goals helps to facilitate the push to focus on a solution. Humor helps to alleviate stress allowing individuals not to vent through the wrong outlet. A balanced power structure helps to create a shared feeling of importance and the fact that their opinions matter. Finally, resolution of the issue without a forced consensus allows the conflict to end. Everyone does not have to agree upon the chosen solution, they just have to feel that their voice was heard, and that the decision was fair.

With conflict comes negotiation. In “Managing Your Boss” Gabarro and Kotter discuss the relationship between employee and their superior. The article discusses the fact that it takes 2 to manage a relationship. Both parties must understand each other. They must understand either strengths and weaknesses, goals and conflict. Seeing the large picture helps to build trust and understanding allowing for conflict resolution and negotiation.

            In “The Necessary Art of Persuasion,” Conger, and in “Six Habits of Merely Effective Negotiators,” Sebenius, the authors discuss necessary traits and mistakes to avoid, in order for one to be a successful negotiator. Like in Gabarro and Kotter’s article, Conger and Sebenius for on the fact that one needs to see the big picture. Their ultimate goal should be to come up with the best solution possible and not let any one standpoint hold them back from landing on an agreement. Negotiators must know what they are talking about and know who they are talking to. Negotiating is a combination of fact based argument and a personality competition.

Managers will often face conflict and negotiation when dealing with their subordinates as well as when dealing with clients. Managers must know when to push their agenda and when to change course. Managers must celebrate the small victories and understand that it is often 2 steps forward and 1 step back. Viewing the bigger picture and thinking ahead is the ultimate key to success.

Michael LaMarque was born and raised in Holliston, MA. He attended Holliston High School and graduated with high honors. In high school, he was captain of the football team and played linebacker. He also played defense on the lacrosse team! He attended Bridgeton Academy for prep school, where he continued to play football. He also continued his academic excellence making the Dean’s list. He later attended Quincy College, where he was on the Dean’s list once again, and earned his Associate's Degree in Natural Science. He went on to attend The University of Massachusetts Boston, where he again was on the Dean’s list, and majored in Management.

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brunson stafford
Joined: January 29th, 2017
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