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Want Better Work Team Conflict Management? Begin by Assessing “Conflict Climate” Online

Posted on Oct 06 2015 under Previous Programs, Team Conflict


Dr Michael DuesWhy do old, dysfunctional patterns for handling conflict re-emerge and persist in the workplace, even after providing training, policies or procedures for resolving differences constructively? This vexing phenomenon—a return to the status quo–plagues conflict professionals and team leaders alike. The main culprit is not individuals clashing; instead it is the team’s culture—the social environment—which sets communication patterns and strongly influences how members behave when they encounter conflict. But how do we get a handle on conflict at the work team level? First we need to concretely assess a team’s “conflict climate” and then take steps to improve aspects of the climate that are negatively influencing members’ conflict behavior. In this program Michael Dues will discuss a powerful online instrument for diagnosing conflict climate in the workplace. He will describe what it measures, how it can guide interventions to gain long term, sustainable improvement in conflict management, and why it is especially useful to use an online survey for this purpose.

Curiosity: “Culture” and “climate” are vague, intangible concepts. How do we make them concrete enough to measure and improve?


Michael Dues is a principal partner with Conflict Climate and an experienced manager, consultant, and professor. He has spent 30 years helping more than 60 organizations with the human side of management, teamwork, strategic planning, and handling conflict constructively. Former Head of the Department of Communication at The University of Arizona, Dr. Dues has extensive experience as an organizational ombudsman and management consultant. Dr. Dues developed the concept of conflict climate and the Conflict Climate Inventory to help managers identify how the general climate of their organization shapes their employee’s conflict management behavior. He’s written three college texts on organizational communication, the study of communication, and argumentation. His recorded lecture course, “The Art of Conflict Management,” (in The Teaching Company’s “Great Courses” series) has been widely distributed throughout the English-speaking world.

Connect with Dr. Michael Dues:  LinkedIn

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