Conflict Between Persons: The Origins of Leadership

Conflict Between Persons

Conflict Between Persons: The Origins of Leadership emphasizes creative and constructive reactions to conflict responsiveness with three basic coordinates: (1) learn before, during, and after a conflict, (2) understand what matters to you and others, and (3) acknowledge that conflict engagement involves alertness to, and understanding of, what matters in the interplay of self and others and the immediate and larger communicative environment.

Leadership begins with the study and practice of communication ethics understood as background that carries a sense of a given good that we seek to protect and promote. The study of communication ethics does not shelter us from conflict; in fact, it invites conflict, providing clarity about what is important to us and to others. Leadership frames the larger significance of behavior by announcing what matters, turning isolated conduct and conflict into meaningful action situated within a story. 

The authors conceptualize communication and conflict as an existential education for leadership that begins with a willingness to enter the fray of everyday disagreement propelled by a pragmatic objective: learning from others and difference. Communicative leadership in an era of routine contentiousness must engage and learn from diverse convictions and conceptions of what matters.