In most textbooks, be they academic or popular, there usually is a section on conflict management. One of the difficulties particularly in the popularized versions is that the “how to deal with it’ section gives the lie to how to actually deal with it. Conflict arises because of difference and unless differences are acknowledged and addressed directly organisations will suffer and management is not doing its job. Alongside this, staff become demoralised if they feel issues are not being taken up at the appropriate level and worked through. If you are going to address difficult issues, or if you are going to have meetings with difficult people, the critical piece is to manage yourself, that is, you have to disentangle your own personal piece from the issue at hand, be that your own anxiety at addressing the issue at all, your fear at affecting the relationships or your rage at the other person, or perhaps your need to sort things out quickly and move on. My expertise lies in helping people to manage themselves.
I also help managers to think about issues from a multiplicity of perspectives, but primarily from the perspective of the customer or service user. As long as the manager remains faithful to the purpose of the organisation, the relationships will take care of themselves. I will help you to figure out what that means for the roles and relationships and how to conflict in the service of the purpose of the organisation.