Introduction to Conflict Management: a Definition of Harmonious Assertiveness

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Conflict Management Skills for Manager : Introduction and Definition of Assertiveness

In professional life, we are confronted to an uncertain world that is rife with opportunities for contradiction and conflicts. Everyone defend their own interests. What some call "good faith" will be regarded as "bad faith" by others.  Moreover, harmony inside companies is not a natural phenomenon. It is not even desirable, as it can lead to conformism and sterilize innovative ideas. A certain amount of conflict is thus necessary in order to ensure the company's continuous development.

DEFINITION OF ASSERTIVENESS

In this context, harmonious assertiveness may be regarded as the ideal attitude in difficult situations and/or conflicts. It consists in clearly expressing one's goals while accepting contradiction and the search for compromise. Harmonious assertiveness may thus be defined as the art of expressing one's feelings, ideas, rights and needs, while respecting others and taking their own desires and goals into account. Thus, the practice of assertiveness shall allow expressing a disagreement, formulating and facing criticism, daring to say "no", or resisting manipulation attempts, without necessarily breaking the relationship.

In short, good conflict management skills consist in  the ability to base the the relation on trust everytime it is possible. However, we will see in the article "The Main Attitudes Towards Contradictions and Conflicts" that it is clearly not the only way to deal with difficult situations!

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