What can leaders do to manage conflict and improve a situation? Learn to replace destructive behaviors with constructive behaviors, and you will see a difference in how conflict plays out around you.
In their book, Becoming a Conflict Competent Leader, Craig Runde and Tim Flanagan of Eckerd College, an affiliate of the Center for Creative Leadership describe seven constructive behaviors: four of them active, and three of them passive.
The 4 active behaviors all involve some overt behavior and typically reduce tension. They are:
Behavior No. 1: Perspective taking. Perspective taking means trying to understand the other person’s point of view, and constitutes the most powerful of the constructive behaviors.