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Conflict First Aid

 

BOOK REVIEW

Book Title:  Conflict First Aid: How to Stop Personality Clashes and Disputes from Damaging You or Your Organization  
Author:       Nancy Radford
Publisher:  Business Expert Press
List Price:   $34.95
Format:  Softcover, 150 pages
Publication Date:   December 2017
ISBN: 978-163157-973-8
Reviewer: Calvin Flemmings, PMP
Review Date: May 2018

 



Introduction

As a leader and manager of project teams comprised of stakeholders from a variety of backgrounds with often conflicting priorities and agendas, I was intrigued by “Conflict First Aid How to Stop Personality Clashes and Disputes from Damaging You or Your Organization” as a possible source of tools and techniques for managing the personality conflicts that often occur and potentially create risks to project and/or organization objectives if they persist.

Nancy Radford’s book provides excellent examples of how to effectively manage disputes and personality clashes before they get out of control and damage organizations and relationships.  Nancy uses a detailed, structured process that helps you to understand and empathize with antagonists, provides tools and tactics for understanding motives, triggers, and communication styles, and methods for handling the inevitable difficult conversations and falling outs. The book consists of 12 well-written chapters that examine Understanding Conflict, Controlling Emotions, deciding whether to Speak up or Remain Silent in the face of conflict, managing conflict when it occurs (Getting Ready to Take the Plunge”), Difficult Conversations, Improving Communication, Ambushes and Problems, refereeing (“When Good People Fall Out”), and Prevention.  The final chapter is a source of useful tools and techniques.

Overview of Book’s Structure

Conflict First Aid is a well-written and structured guide that shows the reader how to handle the unavoidable conflicts, disputes, and personality clashes that occur among individuals within a project team or organization.

As a specialist in early conflict resolution and civil and commercial mediation, Nancy draws from her experiences and includes real-world examples and case-study excerpts. Nancy provides real-world examples and stresses the importance of listening carefully, fairness, and empathy.  She provides useful tools (often delivered as acronyms), quotes from luminaries, and practical exercises Each chapter ends with a short “Check Understanding” section to remind the reader of the major points covered.

Highlights

Leading a project team involves not only managing stakeholders’ expectations of a project’s deliverables but also managing stakeholders’ interpersonal relationships. When a team is comprised of individuals with diverse backgrounds, priorities, and agendas, conflict and personality clashes are sometimes inevitable. The ability to manage conflict and personality clashes before they become serious risks to relationships and business objectives in a calm, fair, and effective manner is a critical skill.

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About the Reviewer


Calvin Flemmings

Washington, D.C. USA

 

 

Calvin Flemmings, PMP is a Project Manager and Oracle EBS Specialist with over 20 years of Information Technology (IT) experience and a proven record of successfully managing complex ERP Financial Systems implementations, upgrades, and support. A respected leader, manager, and coach, Calvin is adept at assembling and motivating diverse teams of up to 25+ IT professionals and maintaining stakeholders’ confidence. Calvin serves as a trusted advisor to clients while delivering effective and efficient integrated solutions for federal state and local government agencies as well as communications, financial services, banking, media, insurance, REIT, and energy clients. Calvin is passionate about giving back to his areas of expertise and encouraging young people to work in Information Technology and Project Management.

Calvin can be contacted at [email protected]

 

Editor’s note:  This book review was the result of a partnership between the publisher, PM World and the PMI Silver Spring Maryland Chapter. Authors and publishers provide the books to PM World; books are delivered to the PMI Silver Spring Chapter, where they are offered free to PMI members to review; book reviews are published in the PM World Journal and PM World Library.  PMI Silver Spring Chapter members can keep the books as well as claim PDUs for PMP recertification when their reviews are published.  Chapter members are generally mid-career professionals, the audience for most project management books. 

If you are an author or publisher of a project management-related book, and would like the book reviewed through this program, please contact [email protected].