Managing Conflict: 50 Strategies for School Leaders

Managing Conflict: 50 Strategies for School Leaders

Managing Conflict: 50 Strategies for School Leaders

Managing Conflict: 50 Strategies for School Leaders

Synopsis

This book offers 50 easy-to-read strategies for managing conflicts in your school involving students, parents, and teachers. Individually, these strategies provide specific insights into conflict resolution, reduction, and management. As a whole, the 50 strategies provide a comprehensive method to lead constructive change in your school. With quotes, examples, and reflection questions, this book offers ideas that help you lead with confidence.

Excerpt

Nonstop adversity is the reality of the principal’s job.

—Jerry Patterson

Power and organizational politics by their very nature create differing levels of conflict. Generally, even though conflict is influenced by places, issues, and the people involved (Owen & Ovando, 2000), school leaders are often not equipped or trained to resolve conflicts (Barnett, 2004; Storey, 2001). This is unfortunate because the majority of a leader’s workday focuses on conflict. Consequently, educators spend a substantial amount of time and energy mediating a variety of circumstances in which individual needs and organizational expectations clash. This has become even more pronounced given the increasing number of groups and stakeholders with whom educational leaders must be involved. For these reasons, Patterson (2007) recently commented that “nonstop adversity is … the reality of the principal’s job” (p. 17).

In a 2007 study by Anderson, 255 campus administrators in Texas, 74% reported that they encountered student-related conflict on a routine basis and an additional 18% noted that they dealt with this on a somewhat regular basis. Over half of the administrators indicated that teacher conflict issues occurred at least somewhat regularly. When asked how important they considered conflict management skills, 91% of the administrators indicated that these skills were very important. Yet, over one half of the respondents indicated that they had only had some or even less training in how to handle conflict.

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