An authoritative, refreshingly different take on workplace conflict.
Mir’s insightful book calls attention to the sobering reality: personnel conflict plagues most workplaces, and personality clashes cause the most conflicts. Mir’s assessment that “personality measurement could make a profound difference” is the philosophy behind his book, which cleverly demonstrates via vignettes the different types of workplace conflicts. In chapters that cover leadership, career, communication, decision-making, team building, learning and change, the author creates a conflict scenario, typically between two employees. He uses a character who reappears in all the scenarios: the “Admiral,” who’s a kind of organizational consultant-cum-peacemaker. The Admiral uses various “psychometrics” (personality measurement tools) to analyze the conflicting parties’ behavior and to offer collaborative solutions. In each case, the employees are encouraged to enter the “Uncomfortable Zone of Debate,” where “creative conflict…is desirable, as it leads to positive change and development.” For example, in “The Battle of Communication,” the reader learns about outgoing, jokester Gordon and methodical, down-to-business Ian; both work in a warehouse. Their differing personalities clash and cause constant conflict, which comes to the attention of their supervisor. The Admiral administers the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator to Gordon and Ian to assess their personalities, and he creates an exercise to help them understand each other’s working styles. This scenario and others reveal much about workplace communication and show how to apply specific tools to help resolve disagreements among employees. In the concluding chapter, the author adds a full description of each of the personality-measurement tools referenced in the scenarios. Mir acknowledges that it takes an expert like the Admiral to interpret personality measures, but the end result is that “positive conflict is indeed possible.” Overall, Mir illustrates workplace problem with real-life examples and provides a road map to finding solutions.
Well-written and researched, this highly useful guide addresses one of the most common productivity-killers in the workplace.