By John Ostapkovich

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Although some people seem to thrive on conflict, many of us prefer not to deal with it, and thus squander any opportunities it presents. Correcting that is where a helpful new book comes in.

Whether you’re the boss or a worker bee, conflict on the job is inevitable, as it is in other facets of life. Columbia University psychology professor Peter Coleman, co-author of Making Conflict Work: Harnessing the Power of Disagreement, says most of have a default response.

“Are you a whiner? Are you a pouter? Do you rage? How do you respond to people, and what are the consequences of that? If that’s the only thing you do and maybe there are more options for you.”

The book offers many tools for diagnosing your own set response and then to lay out a pallet of potential alternatives. The important thing, Prof. Coleman insists, is to not simply react or flee. Embrace the situation, think about the participants and craft a response with an eye toward a win-win solution.
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John Ostapkovich