"In healthier professional environments, many practices proposed in The Adaptive School can be applied to create a much more open, more pliable culture, fit to deal with conflict as defined above. In Chapter 9, it seems the authors have attempted to address every situation of tension or crisis of even the most remote potential. Learning to “fight gracefully” is not just a compelling topic, but an essential skill. For many, it’s natural and perfectly sensible to always avoid conflict. But understanding that conflict does happen and is often unavoidable is more sensible and far more realistic. I tend to concur with Garmston that there is plainly such a thing as healthy disagreement–that there can be benefits to conflict. I might term this concept something like productive disagreement. Disagreement is meant to display opposing perspectives, which can certainly end in a stalemate. But the points of contention and argument can also prove illuminating to the participants and lead to more effective outcomes and more productive meetings and discussions."
The author reflects on two readings, from Robert Garmston and Bruce Wellman’s The Adaptive School: A Sourcebook for Developing Collaborative Groups and Roger Fisher’s Getting It Done: How to Lead When You’re Not In Charge, in tackling this topic. Collaboration (so necessary in current practice!) seems to go hand-in-hand with conflict resolution. Thoughtful post and review of the readings. DW