"Even petty disputes between individuals can be costly. The time, money, and effort spent in the conflict itself, not to mention the mental and emotional cost that's involved mobilizing for the conflict and getting over it, can be heavy indeed.
The least costly way to deal with conflict is to avoid it. Many conflicts are simply not worth having, and with a bit of forethought and prevention, they can be stopped before major damage is done. Abraham Lincoln wrote, "Discourage litigation. Persuade your neighbours to compromise whenever you can. Point out to them how the nominal winner is often a real loser in fees, expenses, and waste of time."
Take the following steps in order to prevent conflict before it starts:
Know who you're dealing with: One of the characteristics of Japanese businesspeople is to spend a great deal of time checking out people or firms before embarking on business ventures with them. They intend to do business for a long time and want to make sure mistakes are avoided at the outset. Westerners often find the practice tedious and unnecessarily time-consuming. But it does have its merits.
Get it in writing: Spell out as many eventual sources of contention as you can anticipate. An old proverb advises: "Good fences make good neighbours."
Avoid impossible situations: Don't think you are Superman or Wonder Woman. Unless you are expert at turnaround situations, if really good people have failed, you probably will, too.
Check out great deals going in: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is too good to be true. Investigate. Ask for references. Ask hard questions. It's better to risk offending someone than having an economic loss or embarrassment later on.
These tactics can save you a great deal of time and effort in conflict resolutions involving any relationship".
Compiled From:"Time Tactics of Very Successful People" - B. Eugene Griessman, p. 145-146.