My Favorite Conflict Management Books for Leaders

Reading is not limited to the classroom or grad school weekends. Reading the thoughts and musings of those devoted to their fields is essential to continued growth. 

Conflict resolution books are integral reading materials for people in leadership roles or those who work in large teams and organizations. You can just read on to learn more about the best conflict management books and how to reduce conflict in the workplace.

Two fists collide and create sparks depicting conflict management struggles.

How to Improve Conflict Management Skills at Work

The first step in managing any problem starts with everyone acknowledging there is a problem, followed by a mutual willingness to change. It’s easy to pretend everything is OK, but making positive changes for long-lasting results is more meaningful.

Conflict resolution books offer a starting point in resolving or preparing for potential conflict at work. It’s advisable to reflect, read, re-read, and readjust your attitude towards conflict to approach it with an open mind, ready to resolve the dispute.

The Top Conflict Management Books

Here are some of the best books on conflict resolution.

  • Difficult Conversations by Douglas Stone – Focuses on why people prefer positive conversations and communication and choose to avoid discussions around uncertainty or discomfort. 
  • Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes are High by Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, and Al Switzler – Discusses how to have a productive conversation when the stakes are high—despite discomfort or difficulty.
  • Powerful Phrases for Dealing with Difficult People by Renee EvensonIn realizing we cannot choose our coworkers. This book walks us through creating relationships with the 30 most common personality traits, behaviors, and workplace scenarios.
  • Can We Talk? by Roberta Chinsky Matuson – This book outlines how each contributor needs to behave to achieve the best possible result using real-world scenarios and examples. You’ll learn fundamental principles that enable everyone to understand the other person more clearly and confidently and help them establish their point of view.

Conflict management books aim to help you see through the panic or chaos of a conflict, but only you can manage the outcome and exercise the learnings.

How to Get the Most from Your Conflict Resolution Books

The best books about conflict resolution are the books that help you and resonate with your situation.

When you’re reading, take notes. If you’re uncomfortable marking the margins, ensure you have a pad and pen nearby. After each section, complete any of the included exercises or take a moment to reflect. If you’re unsure, run it by a colleague or peer. Talking about it with others also cues them into conflict resolution and de-escalation techniques.

As you learn how to improve conflict resolution skills, you’ll learn to lean on books and teachings from those who have been there and resolved that.

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