Do you know of Professor Lisa Zunshine yet? If not, you might want to change that and meet her via her books (links below), articles, and blog posts. I recommend her partly because understanding one of her areas of expertise, Theory of Mind (ToM), can be very helpful in conflict resolution.
For those of you not sure about the definition of ToM, here's an excerpt from Zunshine's blog post "Culture of Greedy Mind Readers" (Huffington Post):
We communicate by misreading each other's minds. When the situation is a social slam dunk ("she switched on her left signal, so she wants to turn left at the next intersection"), we get by well enough. But make it a bit more complicated ("did she glance at me in that meeting because she remembered what I had told her about him?"), and we are in trouble. We have no choice but to act upon our half-baked intuitions about other people's thoughts, and the stellar results are here for all to see.
What makes our daily social floundering more ironic are the special terms that we now have to describe it: "theory of mind" aka "mind-reading." This is what cognitive scientists call our evolved cognitive adaptation for understanding observable behavior as caused by underlying mental states (i.e., thoughts, feelings, intentions). So when I notice that your left turn light is blinking I use my "theory of mind" and interpret the situation as caused by your mental states: either you intend to turn left, or you forgot to turn off the light. And when you glance at me in that staff meeting, my theory of mind gets all fired up, and I start thinking about what you must be thinking about what I might be thinking.
Click to read the rest. Don't miss what she says about our lack of precision in reading body language, even of people we know well.
A couple of Zunshine's books you may find helpful in understanding others: