1. Use when you can’t win2. Use to buy time to fight
another day3. Use when neither party can
win without cooperation4. Use when unpopular action
(win-lose) is the only alternative
5. Use when each side has equal power
Can’t win: ACCOMODATION
•Taming NFL football•Augusta (Masters Tournament) country club admission of women members
Create time to power up: AVOIDANCE
•U.S. involvement in Middle East religious conflicts•US Postal Service & Social Security huge operations deficits
Can’t win without cooperating: COLLABORATION
•Mandatory immunizations for measles control vs. citizen rights•Bill collection agencies negotiating with debtors
Win-lose conflict: COMPETITION
•Cars & feed lots vs. global warming•National Rifle Association/open carry vs. gun control
Equal power on each side: COMPROMISE
• Big 12 schools feud over whether or not to create an end-of-season football championship to stay on par with the other “power-5” conferences• Marijuana producers & federal
regulators engage in give & take on approaches for legalizing the drug.
The TAS technique of innovative conflict
… achieving cooperation by synthesizing the win-lose dichotomy of thesis (one point of view) & antithesis (a second, conflicting, POV) into a win-win synthesis of a creative & agreeable third position.
Thesis: Construct a new office buildingAntithesis: Stay in the old buildingSynthesis 1: Renovate the old buildingSynthesis 2: Keep the old building as unit A and buy/renovate adjacent building as complementary unit B
Thesis: Status quo (no operating changes) for the NCAAAntithesis: Reform the NCAASynthesis 1: Let the 5 “power conferences” regulate themselvesSynthesis 2: Make college football, basketball, & baseball “minor league” pro teams
The FACT-FEELING DIALECTIC of psychological
Conflict issues won’t be resolved if they short-
circuit full human wiring (intellect + emotions)
Matadors use the cape to protect themselves from the bull, who thinks the
cape is part of the matador.
The F-F dialectic is a simple strategy for neutralizing (a la the matador’s cape) or “killing” interpersonal conflict (the bull) through facilitating a dialogue that alternates between sharing facts (cool conflict objective information) and feelings (hot conflict subjective emotions).factsFEELINGSfactsFEELINGS
Entrees & Primers• What do you know
about…” (fact)• “How does that make you
feel?” (feeling)• “What do you think we
should do?” (fact)• “What’s your take on what
Steve just said?” (feeling)
THE CONFLICT MANAGER• Help employees realize that
feelings usually change over time.
• Delay decision-making until emotions have settled down.
• Strive to generate good feelings about HOW decisions are made (anticipatively).