Developing knowledge and skills for working with conflict

Mary Ann Christison*, Denise E. Murray

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


    While conflict in most areas of life is inevitable, if handled positively, it can lead to reflection and innovation. Learning how to manage conflict efficiently, diffuse anger, and facilitate productive communication is an important skill for all ELT professionals, not just for those individuals in leadership positions. In this chapter, we provide the tools for managing conflict that can lead to more positive outcomes: the knowledge and skills needed by ELT professionals and the step-by-step process for resolving or lessening conflict. The knowledge includes an understanding of the different ways in which individuals respond to conflict. The skills are behavioral, emotional, and cognitive, and mastering them leads to conflict competence. We explore conflict competence, a theory rooted in the dynamic theory of intelligence. When differences cannot be resolved or mitigated informally, a formal process may be necessary. The eight-step process that we describe requires a conflict competent facilitator to manage the process.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProfessionalizing your English language teaching
    EditorsChristine Coombe, Neil J. Anderson, Lauren Stephenson
    Place of PublicationCham, Switzerland
    PublisherSpringer, Springer Nature
    Number of pages12
    ISBN (Electronic)9783030347628
    ISBN (Print)9783030347611
    Publication statusPublished - 2020

    Publication series

    NameSecond Language Learning and Teaching
    ISSN (Print)2193-7648
    ISSN (Electronic)2193-7656


    • Behavioral styles
    • Conflict competence
    • Conflict resolution
    • Emotional intelligence


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