Conflict is present in all aspects of our lives. A person’s personal, professional, and emotional health is greatly affected by how successfully they manage conflict. Some people thrive on it, while others shrink away. No matter what your individual tendencies are, you must understand them in order to interact successfully with others.
Although no one can say exactly what percentage of time that should be spent resolving conflict, researchers have proposed that a moderate amount of conflict, handled in a constructive manner, is essential for attaining and maintaining an optimum level of organizational effectiveness. This is not to suggest that a pro-conflict mentality should be embraced, but when handled properly, conflict can lead to better problem solving, creative ideas, and even positive change. Here are some of the destructive and constructive results that can be produced from a conflict situation.
Destructive Outcomes from Unmanaged Conflict
- A climate of distrust and suspicion
- Resistance to teamwork
- People leaving the situation because of the turmoil
Constructive Outcomes from Properly Managed Conflict
- New approaches or solutions
- Long-standing problems brought out in the open
- Clarified thoughts and feelings
- Stimulation of interest and creativity
- Stretched personal capabilities
Help your organization address conflict in any situation with the Conflict Strategies Inventory. Based on more than 35 years of research, this training tool explores five strategies: Integrating, Compromising, Competing, Smoothing, and Avoiding. Most importantly, the Conflict Strategies Inventory accurately identifies one's typical reaction to conflict, examines the potential outcomes associated with each strategy, encourages the use of more effective tactics, and provides skill practice in resolving day-to-day issues.