Preventing Conflicts by Application of Psychology

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Abstract

Why are we including chapters about psychology in a book that deals with conflicts in projects? The answer is easy: behind all conflicts there is also a facet of psychological issues. In other words: Without psychological dimensions, the conflicts and disagreements would be much less pronounced.

In this chapter we will show, that personality, basic beliefs and values on the individual and organizational level play an essential role in leading to differences, misunderstandings – and finally: conflicts. Furthermore it will be shown that conflicts can not be prevented or resolved without taking the psychological aspects into consideration. We will present a model for developing “conflict competency”; knowing how conflicts develop and escalate, how to prevent the conflict from building up, and how to resolve a conflict, which has escalated. Using these tools a project manager, will be well suited to deal with conflicts before, during and after they have occurred. This chapter describes how psychologically to deal with different conflicts as illustrated by a real case story using mutual understanding, the psychological contract and the psychological check list presented.