Summary of Listening to Conflict

Finding Constructive Solutions to Workplace Disputes

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Listening to Conflict book summary
Before you smash that smirking son of a gun, pause for a moment and actually listen to what he’s saying.


6 Overall

7 Applicability

5 Innovation

7 Style


No matter what size your business is, chances are you’ve had to deal with conflicts at work. Relationship-management skills are critical in any business. Author Erik J. Van Slyke examines the underlying problems that cause conflicts and determines that resolution is not about negotiating strategy as much as it is about understanding people. Listening is your primary weapon. When arguing, cajoling and persuading fail to solve a conflict, listening can prevail. Throughout, the book strikes a delicate balance between explaining the psychological roots of communication problems and detailing strategies that can help you guide people in overcoming those obstacles. A series of step-by-step guidelines assists in understanding and employing the author’s suggestions. recommends this book for everyone who wants a clear approach to conflict resolution.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How conflicts arise;
  • Why understanding yourself is the key to resolving conflicts with others; and
  • Why listening is the only way to truly resolve a conflict.


Incompatibility Equals Conflict
Conflict occurs among parties who believe that their needs, goals or ideas are incompatible. It has three important elements: competition, interdependence and perceived incompatibility. Competition - This is the process of striving to "win." Winning...
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About the Author

Erik J. Van Slyke is a principal with HR Alliance, a human resources consulting and training firm. He has been cited in The Wall Street Journal and the BNA Employee Relations Weekly.

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