Conflict Management

Learning Objectives

  • Learn to recognize the origins of conflict.
  • Learn to identify different strategies for managing conflict.
  • Learn to avoid common pitfalls in conflict management.
  • Learn to manage both anticipated and unexpected conflict situations effectively.

Introduction

As a graduate student, you are probably no stranger to conflict. Competition for resources, differing opinions, frustrations over department policy or even disputes with advisors are common in the world of graduate education. Views on conflict differ—some see it as a necessary component for growth, while others see it as a hindrance that can stunt personal and professional development1. Conflict management is an important skill that requires a good amount of awareness and a little bit of savvy. This module will help teach you some things to watch out for when conflict arises, and some skills and techniques you can apply to effectively manage and resolve it.

Understanding Why Conflict Arises

Conflict is a natural outcome of human interaction, simply because two people do not always think alike. When you and a stakeholder are at odds, when you are forced to compete where resources are scarce, or when someone is interfering with you achieving your goals, you may be in a conflict situation. Conflict can feel emotionally charged because it often challenges people’s core beliefs, such as what they consider to be “true,” “fair,” or “logical,” and how best to solve important problems. Although some may assume that opposing opinions mean gridlock, that isn’t necessarily the case if you develop the skills to manage the situation. The key is to keep in mind that there are ways to resolve disputes that entail positive outcomes.

Conflict typically arises due to differences between two (or more) individuals2 as shown in table 1.

Table 1: Differences that can contribute to conflict

  1. Differing Facts – People have different information or viewpoints concerning a particular problem
    • It’s possible to have different views of the “truth” (“truth” is in quotes because it can only speak to your perspective, which may make your version of the “truth” slightly—or dramatically—different than someone else’s)
      • Your supervisor informed you that you probably won’t have a job in his lab next semester, which you feel is unfair and unjustified.
      • Your supervisor is dealing with funding cuts and she has to layoff at least 3 student workers.
  1. Differing Methods – People have different ideas/preferences concerning ways to handle a problem
    • Procedures and strategies may differ from person to person—Sometimes these differing approaches can cause unintended conflict
      • You’re tired of hearing that your labmate is badmouthing your work and complaining about your “ineptitude” behind your back.
      • You’d rather your labmate discuss issues related to your work with you directly, rather than gossiping to other coworkers.
  1. Differing Goals – People have different goals for a situation that are important to them, which may lead to a problem
    • The outcome of good conflict resolution should be that both parties get some of what they wanted
      • You want to finish your paper in quiet
      • Your roommate wants to watch the game in surround sound
  1. Differing Values – People have different values and/or senses of justice which can lead to a problem
    • Judgment calls can differ across parties about what is fair.
      • Coming in 30 minutes late seems like no big deal to your labmate
      • Coming in 30 minutes late to you means you’ve had to sterilize all the equipment yourself (again)

Similarly, our perceptions about and approach to the problem, as well as how we think about it and the parties involved, can be a contributing factor to conflict3 as shown in the following table.

Table 2: Thoughts and perceptions that can contribute to conflict

  1. We think someone else is responsible for the problem:
    • There are conflicting viewpoints about who is the problem (both parties think the other person is the problem).
    • Because each party thinks the other is the problem, they modify their story to confirm this assumption
      • The “story” is their perception of the argument
    • By arguing, individuals can ignore the other person’s story
      • Parties fail to see how the other person views this situation, as well as his or her worldview.
      • By the time they reach the point of a verbal argument parties are more focused on formulating their own responses than listening to what the other person has to say.
  1. We come to the problem with different stories:
    • Stories are based on available information, as well as our observations, interpretations and conclusions
      • Sometimes we have different facts available to us.
      • We have our own past experiences, our own self-interest and our personal “rules” for navigating the world.

Other factors that may contribute to or escalate conflict can be more subtle, and therefore difficult to identify.

Table 3: Additional factors that can contribute to conflict

  1. Conflict avoidance
    • By failing to address or avoiding a particular conflict, you may actually be contributing to it.
    • Gender stereotypes can lead some to interpret avoidance as deference—such an interpretation may create the impression that a woman is okay with the situation or is a passive observer. That makes the conflict not just about an issue, but also about a power dynamic.
  1. Being unapproachable
    • You or another person may be coming across as difficult to talk to, busy, or unconcerned.
      • You may have to make a concerted effort to appear open to discussion by initiating a conversation or at least seeming cordial. That will set a tone for future conversations.
  1. Intersections (culture, background, etc.)
    • People’s personality, culture, upbringing, and past experiences can dictate how they view and manage conflict.
      • Some people may prefer to have a third person present to mediate the discussion where others may see that as invasive.
      • Traditionally western cultures tend to communicate more explicitly, relying more on the message than the context, as opposed to traditionally eastern cultures, who tend to rely on context4.
        • High-context cultures tend to prefer obliging or even avoidant conflict styles, and see open disagreement in public to cause a “loss of face,” which can be seen as an extreme insult4.
        • Low-context cultures can at times prefer dominating or confrontational conflict styles.
  1. Role assumptions
    • People may assume roles based on their prior experiences, gender, or culture, but stereotypes can be damaging. For example:
      • You are the only woman in your lab group, and as such your labmates consistently assign you to menial tasks such as getting coffee or make copies for all of the lab meetings. At one meeting, you become frustrated so you decide to confront them.

Gender Considerations in Conflict Management

Gender can also play an important role in conflict management. Traditionally, research has shown that men and women tend to utilize conflict management strategies that are in accordance with socialized gender role expectations5. Men see conflict as a performance-related issue, whereas for women, conflict can become personal. Women favor accommodating strategies and can be heavily influenced by their own desire to develop or maintain relationships6. When a conflict arises, they may construe it as a potential risk for the relationship and therefore take steps to avoid it7. Conversely, men prefer to be more confrontational and competitive, following role expectations6.

However, with the diversification of the modern workplace, these findings are proving to not always be the case. As a woman in a STEM field, recent research indicates that you hold some particular advantages in the realm of conflict management. Because of the value that women place on relationships, women tend to take a more collaborative approach to conflict resolution, while men tend to employ the strategy of avoiding the conflict altogether8 in an effort to meet male gender role expectations of remaining calm and in control5. Research has also shown that when responding to conflict in the moment, women are more likely to engage in behaviors that are constructive, while men are more likely to engage in behaviors that are destructive6. Collaborative conflict management approaches have been found to lead to more successful and mutually-accepted outcomes than avoidant or dominant approaches9. Integrative, collaborative approaches also have been shown to lead to lower levels of task and relationship conflict, and stress9. In these areas, women are outperforming men by endorsing more effective strategies for conflict management.

Self-test

When conflict arises I usually ________.





If you answered a, this may suggest that you have a collaborative style when it comes to managing conflict. You likely place a great deal of importance on keeping an open dialogue with colleagues and having an open mind about different situations.

If you answered b, this may suggest that when you deal with conflict, you tend to go for compromise. Although you are motivated to find a working solution for both parties involved, you may rush to conclusions in conflict situations, and you may also make conflicts personal, which is not useful when trying to move past a disagreement or create tolerance.

If you answered c, this may suggest that your method is competition. While you want to see the issue resolved quickly, it’s important to you that you come out on top, and that you make sure your needs are met. You may believe that your way is usually the best way, or the one that makes the most sense, anyway, and conflict management is about getting others to see that.

If you answered d, this may suggest that your stance on conflict is accommodation. In the interest of resolving the conflict quickly and keeping others satisfied, you may consistently decide to shelve your own goals and wants when conflict arises. It is also likely important to you to always be the “team player”—it keeps things amicable, and you’ll never develop a reputation for being someone who is difficult to work with.

If you answered e, this may suggest that you employ avoidance when conflict occurs. When you have no choice but to address a conflict directly, it may seem like a daunting or anxiety provoking experience. You may lack confidence in your ability to navigate this seemingly dangerous terrain.

Common Strategies for Navigating Conflict

As illustrated in the above self-test, when interpersonal situations arise that involve conflict, people tend to use strategies like collaboration, compromise, competition, accommodation, or avoidance10.

  • Collaboration involves both parties working towards a mutual goal, with equal investment and equal energy. This is typically looked at as a “win-win” situation.
  • Compromise means that one or both of you have adjusted your standards and expectations for this issue. Though it works temporarily, compromise can sometimes be a pacifier and not a long-term solution. If you only want to work 20 hours a week after you have your baby but your advisor is demanding 60, a compromise might be 40—still double. That’s better than before, but it may not work long-term.
  • Competition in interpersonal conflicts occurs when people’s interests are at odds with one another, and one or both parties try to get the upper hand. This strategy leaves someone feeling like the loser and is often discomforting for women.
  • Accommodation is when you place the interest of the other party ahead of your own as a “good will gesture.” This strategy is usually employed when a person has low investment in their side of the conflict or places high value on the other person’s needs or opinions.
  • Avoidance is when both parties lose. Nothing gets discussed, so nothing gets resolved. For example, as much as you may not want to hear your advisor’s critical input or negative commentary on your progress in the program, you will have to find a way to collaborate because it can define if and when you graduate.

Planning and Managing for Anticipated Conflicts

You have probably been here before: someone else said or did something that was offensive to you and you feel you need to confront him or her about it, a roommate is driving you crazy, you may not agree with how a colleague is going about something, etc. All of these are examples of scenarios that, if left unaddressed, will eventually lead to major frustration, resentment, or worse—an explosive outburst directed at the other person. To prevent such explosions, frustrations, or resulting resentment, it helps to be proactive and come up with a game plan for managing your conflict. When you see a conflict coming, there are some steps you can take to help yourself prepare for and ultimately address the issue3,11:

  1. Assess the situation and the necessity of intervention. Ask yourself the following questions:
    • Is this really a conflict?
      • Have you made a mountain out of a molehill? Go back and assess the situation, using your thinking skills. Look it at from all angles without the added pressure of strong emotions.
    • Is the real conflict inside you?
      • In other words, can you change your behavior and change the situation without engaging the other person in a dialogue?
    • Is there a better way to address the issue than talking about it?
      • Be proactive: Can you change your behavior to eliminate the issue?
  2. Don’t avoid it, but consider what would happen if you said nothing. While avoiding conflict can exacerbate the situation, there is a difference between avoiding a conflict out of fear or anxiety, and choosing not to engage in a conflict as a tactical decision, or when conflict is not necessary. To help decide, an important perspective to consider is: what will happen if I say nothing at all?
    • Can you live with the situation as it is now?
    • Do you think it will go away on its own?
    • Do you feel consistently respected in your work environment?

    If you answered “yes” to these questions, maybe saying nothing is a viable option. If you said “no” to any one of these, silence may have its price. Sometimes the real question is if the costs of silence outweigh the benefits.

  3. Develop a positive attitude (a starting place for working things out)12. This entails convincing yourself that there WILL be positive outcomes from this situation.
    • Pump up your confidence—use some positive self-talk:
      • “I know I can do this.”
      • “This may be difficult, but it’s not impossible.”
      • “It’s just a conversation.”
      • “I have handled many challenging situations, and this is just another one that I will handle well.”
    • Even if the situation doesn’t work out as you would have liked, it will be a good lesson and you can build future strategies from the information you’ve received from the experience:
      • “Now I know….”
      • “For future reference….”
      • “I won’t do that again.”
      • “Next time I will….”
  4. Establish solid ground rules.
    • Create some ground rules for yourself—you can determine beforehand how you will act and react with some simple ground rules, such as:
      • “I will remain calm.”
      • “I will use ‘I’ messages.” [See Assertiveness]
      • “I will intentionally listen and not interrupt.”
      • “I will end the conversation if things become hostile.”
    • Create some ground rules for the conversation—you can ask to set a “tone” for the conversation. Some suggested ground rules might be:
      • Each person takes their turn talking without interruption.
      • No yelling.
      • Solution-focused (staying away from blame).
      • Have a concrete, measurable outcome.
        • Can be another meeting if nothing was agreed upon.
        • Can be a written agreement.
          • “I’ll send you an email outlining what we discussed today.”
  5. Identify the interests of the parties involved. What are your interests? What are you truly trying to accomplish?
    • Ask yourself:
      • Are you angry?
      • Are you hurt?
      • Are you feeling resentful?
        • Your conversations should not be motivated by these emotions—they place you at risk for attacking the other person or over-personalizing things that the other party may say. Instead, consider what tangible outcome you need or want to come out of this conversation.
      • What are the interests of the other person?
        • You’ll have to ask! Remember: don’t make assumptions.
  6. Identify specific outcome criteria. What do you want to see happen?
    • When the conflict is managed, you’d like to see:
      • Timelines?
      • Some sort of agreement?
      • What’s your desired outcome?
        • Get it in writing and make sure you and the other person are clear on how and when your decision will be implemented.
    • What will you NOT settle for? (see Negotiation)
      • Have your standards in advance
        1. Will you bargain?
        2. What is an acceptable resolution to this conflict?
  7. Talk to others and develop alternatives. As with any persistent problem, finding outside support may be an effective strategy.
    • Often another person’s opinion, if they are a friend or a professional, can help develop a healthy and helpful perspective on an issue.
    • Outside help may be a powerful resource that can help you build skills and navigate distressing outcomes.
    • Look for ways conflicts were handled by others in the past that may help inform ways to solve a particular dispute.
  8. Involve official third parties, when necessary. Unfortunately, situations can occur in which you are treated unethically, unfairly, or inappropriately by an advisor or a professor—particularly as a woman in a male-dominated field. In these situations, it becomes crucial to speak to appropriate outside parties. Here are a few guidelines to help you through this process:
    • Document the situation. Make sure you adequately document the relevant details of your situation. Put all of the important information down in writing. Be specific—use dates, times, names, and locations. Having these details in writing can help you later on, should you need to take your conflict to outside parties. It also adds an element of seriousness to the conversation that may help the other person realize what he or she is doing.
    • Discuss the situation with someone you trust. Bring up the situation with a trusted confidante who is not a blood relative. Having such a person “in the know” can help you in the future, should you need someone to corroborate your side of the story. Doing so can also give you an outside perspective that may prove beneficial in helping you find an acceptable solution.
    • Find the appropriate representative at your school/organization. Don’t take it on alone—talk to the necessary people in your department or at your school. Keep in mind that sometimes responses to these kinds of matters are slow in the academic realm, so weigh your options before making a decision. If you decide to act, follow through with your decision.

    Don’t be afraid—Conflict is often something undesirable, but it’s not lethal! People often avoid conflict because they are not skilled in managing it. And some women accept unknowingly the stereotype that women have, and even should have, a more passive approach to difficult situations. Ask yourself whether this might describe you. Don’t make the conflict bigger than it has to be by shying away or doubting your ability to handle it12.

    General Guidelines for Managing Conflict

    When you finally address the situation, remember to aim for a collaborative effort between you and the other person. In order to ensure collaboration, it becomes important to consider their story, while not ignoring your own views and feelings. Make an effort to understand the other person’s viewpoints first; don’t simply tell him or her to change or modify their behavior. The following guidelines will help you to integrate your preparations and handle the confrontation effectively:

    1. Listen carefully. When discussing difficult issues, remember to listen. Listening is an active process, where you are paying attention and considering what the other person is saying. It takes energy and sometimes it takes personal restraint. Although you may be tempted to defend yourself or make an important clarification, there will be a time when you can do that after the other person finishes expressing him/herself. If you are not listening, you may be reading into things that are not really intended [see Active Listening for more].
    2. Craft your response. How you respond to the other person can make or break your collaborative effort, and it can have a profound impact on the outcome of your conflict—for good or for bad.
      • Crafting a “third story” is a way to describe the situation that acknowledges the differences between the two sides and doesn’t place any differential weight on either party’s story3:
        • “It seems like on one hand……and on the other hand…..”
        • “I see what you’re saying in that……and I am saying…..”
        • “Both sides of this issue are very important. Let me see if I understand this clearly: you’re saying…..”
      • Develop an “And Stance”—a way to embrace both stories so that it allows both people to be right:
        • “I can be upset, frustrated, and hurt and so can the other person.”
          • “And” helps create the tone that things are not mutually exclusive and that both people have valid feelings and opinions.
          • This helps to focus the conversation away from an exclusive “right” way, opinion, outcome, etc.
      • Be open to recognizing, accepting and responding to people’s inquiries about your intentions.
        • If your labmate tells you she hasn’t made a decision yet about supporting that grievance letter you wanted to send to the Dean and that she’s uncomfortable with your continually putting pressure on her, don’t push your agenda any further for now. She’s already expressed her limit on what she feels is acceptable to you and has been clear about how your intentions are making her feel.
    3. Take a time-out to be mindful13. Ask yourself: what’s going on here? Take a minute to reflect on yourself and your situation. Try to identify the feelings that you are experiencing about a current difficult situation. Do you feel angry, frustrated, or sad? Allow yourself to feel those feelings intensely and even discuss them with people who would understand. Give yourself permission to take personal space and cry, yell, or quietly retreat for a little while. Then take some time to think about your role in the situation and remember you have some control over the situation and more importantly over your feelings and how you react.
    4. Don’t shy away from difficult feelings3. Difficult conversations bring up strong feelings and cause more upset if not addressed properly—if not worked through, they can lead to more difficult conversations or even impair your relationships.
      • Express your feelings, but figure out what perceptions are causing you to have those feelings—don’t judge but rather share your perceptions and feelings thoughtfully, not angrily.
        • Example internal dialogue: I am so unsure of myself that every time my advisor criticizes me, I feel inadequate and it makes me so frustrated—I can’t get any support! I really lack confidence so I need some encouragement.
        • Expressing perception and feelings: “I hear you being very critical of me and I feel like I need more support to finish my work.”
    5. It’s not about being right. Arguing over who is right only moves parties further way from exploring each other’s perceptions, interpretations, and values.
    6. Shift away from “being right” and focus instead on understanding the other person’s stake in the conversation. Doing so will encourage sharing viewpoints and feelings and ultimately working together to reach a mutually beneficial solution.
    7. Avoid blame. Blaming others distracts you from exploring why the problem has arisen and how you can create solutions. A good way to handle blame is to separate blame from contribution3:
      • Blame looks backward—it is judgmental and purely focused on the fault(s) of the other person.
      • Contribution is forward-looking and focuses on understanding the situation more comprehensively.
        • Contributions can be both positive and negative:
          • How have I contributed to this situation?
          • What factors contributed to this situation?
      • Problem-solving for conflict management involves dismissing blame and creating a collaborative strategy based on positive contributions:

    Strategies for Managing Unanticipated Conflicts

    Sometimes we are caught by surprise when a conflict comes up unexpectedly. When such events occur, you’ll need to act quickly. Although we don’t always have the luxury to plan how to handle a conflict in advance, it’s a good idea to develop “conflict preparedness.” By practicing certain strategies now, you can become better prepared to manage unanticipated conflict in the moment:

    • Use the Stop-Think-Respond method3: stop yourself (distance yourself from the situation mentally for a moment, or physically, if necessary), think about how to move forward and consider your possible outcomes, and then respond accordingly. Doing so will help you avoid hasty comments and decisions, as well as help you to remain calm and collected throughout the exchange.
    • Consider your assumptions. People often make assumptions about the intentions of others, even though they are inherently unknown. In a conflict, the tendency is to make negative assumptions, which moves individuals away from problem-solving with the other person. Negative assumptions can create fear, anxiety, and anger, which can be detrimental to finding a collaborative solution to your conflict, keeping you from being able to work collaboratively with the other person in the conflict.
    • Manage yourself14. Remember—the only thing you can actually control in any situation is yourself. Do some quick self-reflection. Are you concerned about how others perceive you? If so, that sounds like a personal issue, not necessarily one you need to argue with someone else. Bullying someone into thinking you’re competent is not an effective strategy. Reflect upon your emotions before you express them. Ask yourself, where are these feelings coming from? Are they more harmful than helpful to express?
    • Acknowledge hostility, accept responsibility, and move towards resolving conflict. Difficult situations can easily get heated. Above all—remain calm. If someone is attacking you verbally, don’t get caught in the whirlwind. If you’re both angry, the dispute will only escalate. It’s important to recognize your contributions to a situation and encourage constructive dialogue about it. Accepting some of the responsibility can help divert the conversation away from blame and onto problem-solving:
      • “I see what you mean. I wish I hadn’t done it that way, and I hope you will accept my apology. How about if I…”
      • “You know, that’s not what I intended; what I was trying to do was…”
      • “I had no idea you felt that way. Thank you for being so honest about your feelings. What if I…..”
      • “I’m sorry to hear you feel that way. What happened here that lead you to this conclusion?”
    • Consider timing. Sometimes dealing with a conflict is about timing—it’s important to take the situation and environment of the other person into consideration. You can revisit the situation at another time if the other person is too busy, angry, or disinterested. Delaying is often the best in-the-moment solution if tempers are flaring. Conflicts usually evoke an array of feelings and responses from both parties. Remember that conflict is not linear. Rather than thinking of it as a conflict, consider it a feedback loop, one that comes with an opportunity to break the cycle at any point. Discussion is one exit route, reframing is another6. Keeping in mind that you may not get what you want from the other person will help you feel less disappointed and anxious when attempting to resolve a conflict.

    Self-test

    Ahmed and I have always gotten along well. But in preparation for our upcoming conference presentation, I feel like I’ve been doing all the work. Just now in the lab he told me that I “had” to do the animation of the DNA sequencing because his brother is in town for the weekend. Well, I’m also studying for comps. I should…




    Best Answer: c. While being honest about your situation (a) and your feelings (d) is part of the goal in effective conflict resolution, doing so in the ways suggested in answers A and D curtails the prospect of collaboration. By quickly closing off the conversation (a), you may actually open yourself up for more conflict around team responsibilities and work deadlines. Maintaining a strong working relationship in any group is important (b), but doing so at the expense of your own success is both unfair and possibly detrimental to you, especially when other options exist. Staying calm and looking for collaborative solutions (c) is the most effective approach to handling the conflict effectively.

    CareerWISE Point

    Conflict is going to happen. It’s up to you to learn to handle it, move past it and not let it deter you from your goals. Remember—the outcome of a conflict is often a matter of perspective and flexibility. Approaching situations and relationships flexibly affords people many more options. Be careful to avoid thinking of your choices as “all or nothing.” Instead, try to stay calm, positive, and open, and look for finding a middle ground.

    CareerWISE Tips

    • Be aware of “shoulds.” We create our own “shoulds,” and sometimes they can lead to negative feelings, thus contributing to conflicts. For example: I should get my assignments completed on time. The lab should be clean before we conduct experiments. My husband should take out the trash each day. Sometimes these clash with other people’s “shoulds.” Even though we created our “shoulds” without much thought, we surely get irritated or even angry when these expectations are not met. For example, your husband’s “should” may be that the trash only needs to be taken out once a week—similar but not the same. Recognizing ours and accepting theirs is really very important for navigating difficult conversations.
    • Remember to use neutral language. Avoid judgmental remarks or sweeping generalizations, such as, "You always turn your part in late." Use calm, neutral language to describe what is bothering you. For example: "I get very frustrated when we don’t have your section done before the time we agreed on for final edits—it causes us to miss our deadlines." Be respectful and sincere, and avoid being sarcastic.

    References

    1. Reybold, L. E. (2005). Surrendering the dream: Early career conflict and faculty dissatisfaction thresholds. Journal of Career Development, 32(2), 101-121. doi:10.1177/0894845305279163
    2. Holton, S. A. (Ed.). (1998). Mending cracks in the ivory tower. Bolton, MA: Anker Publishing Company, Inc.
    3. Stone, D., Patton, B., & Heen, S. (2000). Difficult conversations: How to discuss what matters most. New York, NY: Viking Penguin.
    4. Croucher, S. M., Bruno, A., McGrath, P., Adams, C., McGahan, C., Suits, A., & Huckins, A. (2012). Conflict styles and high-low context cultures: A cross-cultural extension. Communication Research Reports, 29(1), 64-73. doi:10.1080/08824096.2011.640093
    5. Wachter, R. M. (1999). The effect of gender and communication mode on conflict resolution. Computers in Human Behavior, 15(6), 763-782. doi:10.1016/S0747-5632(99)00046-1
    6. Davis, M. H., Capobianco, S., & Kraus, L.A. (2010). Gender differences in responding to conflict in the workplace: Evidence from a large sample of working adults. Sex Roles, 63, 500-514. doi:10.1007/s11199-010-9828-9
    7. Wood, J.T. (2007). Gendered lives: Communication, gender, and culture. United States: Thomson Wadsworth.
    8. Brahnam, S. D., Margavio, T. M., Hignite, M. A., Barrier, T. B., & Chin, J. M. (2005). A gender-based categorization for conflict resolution. Journal of Management Development, 24(3), 197-208. doi:10.1108/02621710510584026
    9. Friedman, R. A., Tidd, S. T., C., C. S., & Tsai, J. C. (2000). What goes around comes around: The impact of personal conflict style on work conflict and stress. The International Journal of Conflict Management, 11(1), 32-55. doi:10.1108/eb022834
    10. Thomas, K. W., & Kilmann, R. H. (1974). Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument. Palo Alto, CA: Consulting Psychologists Press.
    11. Covey, S.R., Merrill, A. R., & Merrill, R. R. (1994). First things first. New York: Simone & Schuster.
    12. Holton, S. A. (1995). And now…the answers! How do deal with conflict in higher education. In S. A. Holton (Eds.), Conflict management in higher education (pp. 79-89). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass Inc.
    13. Burgoon, J. K., Berger, C. R., & Waldron, V. R. (2000). Mindfulness and interpersonal communication. Journal of Social Issues, 56, 105-127. doi:10.1111/0022-4537.00154
    14. Laursen, B., Finkelstein, B.D., & Betts, N. T. (2001). A developmental meta-analysis of peer conflict resolution. Developmental Review, 21, 423-449. doi:10.1006/drev.2000.0531

    Dealing with Assumptions and Accusations (Short Version)
    Being accused of cheating and regrets about not being more assertive.

    Dealing with Inappropriate Events
    Suggestions for how to deal with sexist comments.

    Stressors, Sex, and Sexism: A Wrongfully Assumed Affair
    How to handle being accused of having an affair with the advisor.

    Stubbornness and Tenacity
    Highlights the obstacles faced when trying to have research reviewed by the advisor and emphasizes the steps necessary to make adequate progress in the program.

    Critical Mass
    Captures the annoyance of male colleagues making sexist assumptions and the challenges with conference travel as a female graduate student.

    The Residual Effects of Sexual Harassment
    How to survive the aftermath of a sexual harassment incident.

    The Importance of Having Positive Working Relationships: A Case Study
    The importance of good working relationships and when it's worth putting forth effort.

    Incidents of Prejudice Due to Married and Pregnant Status
    Gender stereotypes faced in getting into graduate school and conducting research.

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