I've been studying workplace conflict since I was a shoe store manager in the 90s. And by "studying" I mean I've tried to figure out why I've experienced so much conflict. I'm an analytical person, so of course I always think I'm the one to blame. And maybe I am. Yet, I can't help wondering if leaders in business have to create an environment of conflict resolution. Conflict happens. These quotes seem to suggest that it is how you handle the situation, your attitude going into the conflict, and your resolution that matters.

1. "Clearly, there aren't enough positive moments or interactions happening in the workplace. As a result, our economy suffers, companies suffer, and individual relationships suffer." Tom Rath

2. "My role was to bring about fairness in the workplace. All I did was implement the laws that were currently on the books." Hilda Solis

3. "A good manager doesn't try to eliminate conflict; he tries to keep it from wasting the energies of his people. If you're the boss and your people fight you openly when they think that you are wrong--that's healthy." Robert Townsend

4. "The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn't being said. The art of reading between the lines is a lifelong quest of the wise." Shannon L. Alder

5. "In some ways, we will always be different. In other ways, we will always be the same. There is always room to disagree and blame, just as there is always room to take a new perspective and empathize. Understanding is a choice." Vironika Tugaleva

6. "There are two ways of meeting difficulties: You alter the difficulties or you alter yourself meeting them." Phyllis Bottome

7. "Every person in this life has something to teach me--and as soon as I accept that, I open myself to truly listening." Catherine Doucette

8. "Conflict builds character. Crisis defines it." Steven V Thulon

9. "The Law of Win/Win says, 'Let's not do it your way or my way; let's do it the best way.'" Greg Anderson

10. "The most difficult thing in any negotiation, almost, is making sure that you strip it of the emotion and deal with the facts." Howard Baker

11. "Difficulties are meant to rouse, not discourage. The human spirit is to grow strong by conflict." William Ellery Channing

12. "Listen first. Give your opponents a chance to talk. Let them finish. Do not resist, defend or debate. This only raises barriers. Try to build bridges of understanding." Dale Carnegie

13. "Any fool can criticize, complain, and condemn--and most fools do. But it takes character and self-control to be understanding and forgiving." Dale Carnegie

14. "Do something every day that you don't want to do; this is the golden rule for acquiring the habit of doing your duty without pain." Mark Twain

15. "I do not know anyone who has got to the top without hard work. That is the recipe. It will not always get you to the top, but should get you pretty near." Margaret Thatcher

16. "Differences can be the sources of creativity, or they can serve to divide." Craig Runde

17. "A willingness to trust and openly listen to alternative ideas and views is essential for collaboration to be successful." Dale Eilerman

18. "There are three ways of dealing with difference: domination, compromise, and integration. By domination only one side gets what it wants; by compromise neither side gets what it wants; by integration we find a way by which both sides may get what they wish." Mary Parker Follett

19. "If you can't go around it, over it, or through it, you had better negotiate with it." Ashleigh Brilliant

20. "The right tools for solving disputes within our community are precision instruments such as reason, communication, empathy, curiosity, and understanding. They are also the right tools for building a global civilization of peace and prosperity." Paul K. Chappell

21. "Remember that when you meet your antagonist, to do everything in a mild agreeable manner. Let your courage be keen, but, at the same time, as polished as your sword." Richard Brinsley Sheridan

22. "Talk back to your internal critic. Train yourself to recognize and write down critical thoughts as they go through your mind. Learn why these thoughts are untrue and practice talking and writing back to them." Robert J. McKain

23. "A quarrel is quickly settled when deserted by one party; there is no battle unless there be two." Seneca the Elder

24. "I know of no more disagreeable situation than to be left feeling generally angry without anybody in particular to be angry at." Frank Moore Colby

25. "No one can persuade another to change. Each of us guards a gate of change that can only be opened from the inside. We cannot open the gate of another, either by argument or emotional appeal." Marilyn Ferguson

26. "If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader." John Quincy Adams

27. "Power in organizations is the capacity generated by relationships. It is an energy that comes into existence through relationships." Margaret Wheatley

28. "An ounce of mediation is worth a pound of arbitration and a ton of litigation!" Joseph Grynbaum

29. "My father said: you must never try to make all the money that's in a deal. Let the other fellow make some money too, because if you have a reputation for always making all the money, you won't have many deals." J. Paul Getty

30. "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak. Courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill

31. "Every person in this life has something to teach me--and as soon as I accept that, I open myself to truly listening." Catherine Doucette

32. "It isn't that they can't see the solution. It is that they can't see the problem." G. K. Chesterton

33. "People will forget what you said, they will forget what you did, but they will never forget how you made them feel." Maya Angelou

34. "When you realize you've made a mistake, make amends immediately. It's easier to eat crow while it's still warm." Dan Heist

35. "If you have learned how to disagree without being disagreeable, then you have discovered the secret of getting along--whether it be business, family relations, or life itself." Bernard Meltzer

36. "Instead of suppressing conflicts, specific channels could be created to make this conflict explicit, and specific methods could be set up by which the conflict is resolved." Albert Low

37. "Talk back to your internal critic. Train yourself to recognize and write down critical thoughts as they go through your mind. Learn why these thoughts are untrue and practice talking and writing back to them." Robert J. Mckain

Published on: Apr 16, 2015
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