Conflict can appear with varying degrees of intensity or hostility, but if ignored or managed ineffectively, it can slow or jeopardize an institution's success. Chairs and deans, who have leadership responsibilities to both administrators and faculty, often find a significant portion of their jobs devoted to conflict management. Their leadership success depends on their ability to effectively manage a variety of conflict-laden situations, and negotiate people's varying needs and personalities. This book, at its core, is about communication strategies that support effective leadership. First it shows how to establish a foundation for effective leadership communication; next, it discusses developing a fair and effective leadership communication style; and finally, it shows how to employ leadership communication to manage especially difficult people, from prima donnas to pot stirrers. Each chapter contains a series of questions and prompts to guide readers through a hypothetical but realistic situation, and encourages them to cultivate and practice the first-person participant and third-person observer roles.
By moving between these two perspectives, readers will gain more insight into their own style of managing conflict and understanding of leadership. This skill also permits academic leadership to have more strategic control over the communication in a particular situation, thus empowering them to feel and to be more in control in every situation.