The 5 Best Conflict Resolution Books (in 2024)

If you are looking for the best books on conflict resolution, you’ve come to the right place.

In this article, we will briefly dive into the five books that will help teach you the steps you need to take to resolve conflict well.

1. Crucial Conversations Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High by Joseph Grenny, Kerry Patterson, Ron McMillan, Al Switzler, and Emily Gregory

Crucial Conversations book cover

Crucial Conversations is one of the first books on conflict resolution that I read, and to me, it is one of the “classics”. It dives into how to have those “crucial conversations” assertively and appropriately.

According to Grenny and the others, crucial conversations are when stakes are high, opinions vary, and emotions are running strong. In this book, they guide you in how to appropriately handle those situations.

Some of the topics the authors cover include making it safe to have the conversation, using the STATE method to present your message, exploring other’s paths, mastering the stories that you tell yourself, how to deal with the “yeah, buts”, and more.

If you want an easy-to-read good book on how to have those hard conversations, this would be a good book for you.

You can get it on Amazon here.

2. When Goliaths Clash by Howard M. Guttman

When Goliaths Clash book cover

When Goliaths Clash is a leader’s guide to managing conflict within a business environment. One of the initial main points is that your goal is to manage conflict, not eliminate it. Healthy conflict can move your business forward, but unhealthy, unresolved conflict can also tear your business down.

In the book, Guttman covers the basics of conflict including what causes conflict, conflict styles, how to listen effectively to others, how to be assertive about your needs to others, and the dirty dozen roadblocks. He also covers policies and procedures for your business for healthy conflict and dives into teams and how healthy teams form.

If you are a business leader who wants an environment with healthy conflict and that resolves conflict appropriately (or you just want a good resource on how to communicate in conflict situations), this book may be for you.

You can get it on Amazon here.

3. Difficult Conversations by Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton, and Sheila Heen

Difficult Conversations book cover

In Difficult Conversations, Stone and the others dive into the three conversations that are part of the conflict we face: the “What Happened?” conversation, the feelings conversation, and the identity conversation. In each conflict, we deal with what really happened or what should happen, our feelings (and the other person(s)’) and how it affects us, and what it means to us or about us.

While diving into these questions, they dive into the topics of blame, learning the other person’s story, the importance of acknowledging the other person’s feelings and understanding their story, and re-framing from blame to contributions.

Some key points I enjoyed from the book are: our identity is not based on the conflict; when you are concerned more about others’ feelings (and cast aside your own), you teach others to ignore your feelings, too; and we should shift our stance from “I understand” to “help me understand.”

You can get it on Amazon here.

4. Working with You is Killing Me by Katherine Crowley and Kathi Elster

Working With You is Killing Me book cover

In Working with You is Killing Me, Crowley and Elster discuss how to deal with negative situations and people within work. They talk about how we get “hooked”, both mentally and physically, how to avoid it, and how to escape it. They say if you can change how you react, you will change your life.

From there they dive into how to manage up, how to deal with difficult and extreme bosses, and if the culture you are at is where you should be.

If you are looking for a book on how to deal with difficult people at work (and how to help yourself not get hooked by them), this book would be a good choice for you.

You can get it on Amazon here.

5. Fierce Conversations: Achieving Success at Work & in Life, One Conversation at a Time by Susan Scott

Fierce Conversations book cover

According to Scott in Fierce Conversations, the four purposes of a fierce conversation are to interrogate reality, provoke learning, tackle tough challenges, and enrich relationships.

This is another good book on dealing with conflict at work (and in life). Scott covers varying principles about conflict, such as everyone having a piece of truth, everyone often having contributed to the problem to some degree, how to have the right mindset toward conflict, and that you get what you tolerate.

She dives into the steps to take to examine issues that are causing conflict and how to have that “fierce conversation”.

You can get it on Amazon here.

Bonus Book

The Anatomy of Peace: Resolving the Heart of Conflict by The Arbinger Institute

The Anatomy of Peace book cover

The Anatomy of Peace is different than the other books listed about conflict resolution in that it is similar to the style of The One Minute Manager: it’s written as a story.

In the story, you dive into the experience of a few individuals who have conflict issues with others close to them. Through the story, you learn the principles of conflict, starting with getting yourself in the right spot.

You can get it on Amazon here.

Final Thoughts on the 5 Best Conflict Resolution Books

If you are wanting to learn how to resolve conflict better, from how to prepare yourself to how to give the message and follow up, these books are for you.

I hope this article will help you along in your journey.

When you read them, leave a comment below and let us know what you learned from them.

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