Brief 1 Week 3 Structure of Conflict

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Main Idea: Planning and theories of power are central to the structure and engagement of conflict. 

To engage conflict well, regardless of the context, is only possible if we’re aware of how conflict works. This doesn’t mean that there is a simple solution to every situation. However, it does mean that we’re willing to do what Maya Angelou said and “think twice, speak once.” 

Pausing to plan creates space for processing conflict. And preparation—gaining understanding about the nature of power in conflict, goal setting, and overall structures of engagement—make the possibility of constructive conflict possible. This is the next step in developing our ability to engage conflict well.


THE CHALLENGE: How do you approach conflict?

THE AUDIENCE: Your supervisor / boss. *Prepare your brief with this audience in mind.

THE BRIEF: Prepare a business brief that provides insights into your conflict management style. Begin by taking the personal conflict assessment provided by the United States Institute of Peace (link below). Review your results and, using the readings from the previous week as well as the outcomes of this assessment, synthesize your response to the following questions in the form a business brief.

  1. Based on the assessment, how do you tend to respond to conflict? 
    1. What were your results / percentages for each conflict style?
    2. Were you surprised? If so, in what ways? OR, was this confirmation? If so, in what ways?
  2. What factors contribute / have contributed to your conflict style? Consider the terms filter and bias from the readings as you answer this question. 
    1. What struggles do you face when addressing a conflict situation?
    2. What strengths do you bring to situations that require conflict management?
  3. How can you become more effective in your approach? 
    1. Identify two specifics aspects of conflict management you can focus on to improve your effectiveness.
    2. Provide one specific strategy for improving each aspect.
    3. Provide at least one biblical truth that supports your development in each area and explain the connection.

Your personal conflict style as provided by the United States Institute of Peace—https://www.usip.org/public-education/students/conflict-styles-assessment

Business Brief Requirements: A business brief the equivalent of an academic paper but for a business context and audience. For this brief, the format should include a:

  • Cover page
  • Executive summary
  • Headings for key areas
  • In-text citations
  • Succinct conclusion (3-5 sentences) focused on key insights
  • Reference page
  • Use of APA Style throughout


Upon successful completion of this module, you will be able to articulate your personal conflict style and approach. This includes identifying:

  • Your response to conflict.
  • Factors that contribute to your conflict style.
  • Ways to be more effective in your approach.
  • Biblical connections to support how best to improve your approach to conflict.
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