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Leading Through Conflict

In life, conflict is inevitable when you are working with multiple people. Disagreements happen. To be successful, leaders must understand and skillfully navigate the emotions and behaviors of their teams when they do. Leaders who lead through conflict effectively help their teams learn and grow together. There are a variety of approaches to resolving and managing conflict. Selecting the most effective approach for the situation will depend on a number of factors including the cause, nature, dynamics and dimensions of the conflict, the leader’s relationships with those involved, and, the leader’s knowledge of and ability to use appropriate conflict management strategies and processes.

“Successful leaders manage conflict; they don’t shy away from it or suppress it but see it as an engine of creativity and innovation. Some of the most creative ideas come out of people in conflict remaining in conversation with one another rather than flying into their own corners or staking out entrenched positions. The challenge for leaders is to develop structures and processes in which such conflicts can be orchestrated productively.” 

— Ronald Heifetz and Marty Linsky

Leading Through Conflict Toolkit

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Moving Beyond the Conflict

April 12th, 2021|Comments Off on Moving Beyond the Conflict

Conflict hurts, and people respond to pain in three stages: “Denial” – In this stage, people deny they have a problem. They try to maintain the status quo. They are not ready to negotiate, and [...]

The Social Style Model

April 12th, 2021|Comments Off on The Social Style Model

Different social or communication styles cause interpersonal problems, especially because these styles are deeply rooted in personality and culture. Communication styles have two dimensions: Assertiveness – “Ask-assertive” people are indirect about getting what they want, [...]

The Dimensions of Conflict

April 12th, 2021|Comments Off on The Dimensions of Conflict

People come into conflict over the way they think, feel and act. Each dimension responds to these different techniques: Address clashes about ideas by introducing new data, reinterpreting existing data or reframing the information. Address [...]

The Dynamics of Trust

April 12th, 2021|Comments Off on The Dynamics of Trust

“Trust” means “having positive expectations about another’s motives and intentions,” in the face of “potential risk.” When people are hurt or in conflict, they do not trust one another; yet trust is necessary for conflict [...]

Interests, Rights, and Power

April 12th, 2021|Comments Off on Interests, Rights, and Power

Interests, Rights, and Power is a model not of conflicts themselves, but of conflict-resolution processes, which the model categorizes into three types: Interest-based processes – These focus on the needs and wants of the parties [...]

The Boundary Model 

April 12th, 2021|Comments Off on The Boundary Model 

Boundaries can be physical, behavioral, or social. They share four characteristics: They define standards of behavior – A highway speed limit establishes a behavior to which all drivers must conform. They have legitimacy – A [...]


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