6.1 Managing disputes

Disputes and conflict are a normal part of relationships. Rather than striving to avoid or silence them, it is much better to have good procedures to manage conflict and avoid unnecessary escalation. Simple common sense ways include:

  • building good relationships with counterparts and being open with them
  • ensuring regular management coordination, and occasional meetings between senior management representatives
  • keeping records, documenting problems and raising them with management
  • ensuring partners feel comfortable to contact a senior manager themselves.